Spanish GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

And Again

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2014 

 © The Cahier Archive

 

Lewis Hamilton again topped the laps times in his Mercedes, and like other free practice sessions this season he was again almost a full second quicker than the non-Mercedes opposition which in this case was Daniel Ricciardo who wound up third in his Red Bull. Nico Rosberg split the difference being 0.449 of second slower than his Mercedes teammate and 0.536 of a second faster than Ricciardo.

The ambient temperature at the start of the afternoon practice session was 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Centigrade.) There was a zero percent chance of rain.

Marcus Ericsson as the first out on the track in his Caterham as the 90-minute session got underway. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, would not be going out at all. The electrical problem that had stopped his Red Bull on track early in FP1 meant that the wiring loom on the car had to be changed. It is a lengthy and complex job, so he had to sit out FP2.

Ericsson also set the first time in FP2: 1:39.717, but Romain Grosjean obliterated that with a time of 1:30.574 only to have his Lotus teammate Pastor Maldonado beat that with a 1:29.275.

5 minutes into the session, the Marussia team radioed to Max Chilton that there was an engine problem and that he should come slowly back to the pits.

As in FP1, the drivers were using Pirelli's hard compound tires with the orange sidewalls.

8 minutes into the session, the McLaren boys were on top: Jenson Button with a 1:28.703 and Kevin Magnussen with a 1:28.815.

11 minutes into the session, Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) knocked the McLarens off the top with a time of 1:27.644, but Lewis Hamilton beat that with a 1:27.448 in his Mercedes. They were the only two drivers to have broken into the 1:27s at this stage.

Hamilton subsequently lowered his time to a 1:27.061 as his teammate Nico Rosberg moved into second with a time of 1:27.522.

20 minutes into the session, things were relatively quiet with just five cars on track. Ricciardo was still third in the standings followed by Ferrari teammates Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen and then the McLaren duo.

22 minutes into the session, Chilton tried another lap but the team told him there was still an engine problem and that he had to come back into the pits.

24 minutes into the session, Maldonado became the first driver to try out Pirelli's medium compound slicks with the white sidewalls, and he posted the fourth best time with a 1:27.866 compared to the 1:29.275 he clocked on the hard compound tires.

32 minutes into the session, Ricciardo had a run on the mediums and jumped to first place with a 1:26.509. The next 12 drivers on the list were in the pits so no one was going to beat that time for a while.

37 minutes into the session, Alonso, Rosberg and Hamilton went out on the mediums.

Rosberg smashed Ricciardo's time with his lap of 1:25.973. Then Hamilton topped that with a 1:25.524. Alonso moved up to fourth with a 1:27.121.

Midway through FP2 the top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Alonso, Raikkonen and Button. Felipe Massa (Williams), Maldonado, Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) rounded out the top 10.

Most teams and drivers used the second half of FP2 to concentrate on long runs to check tire degradation. One driver who did improve his time was Magnussen who moved up to sixth with a 1:27.788, just ahead of Button who had turned a 1:27.811.

With 40 minutes remaining in the session, things were not going well at Lotus where Grosjean reported a problem with his engine.

The medium compound tire performance dropped off dramatically – Ricciardo, for example, was six seconds slower than his best time just eight laps into a run on the mediums.

With 24 minutes remaining in the session, every driver was on the track except for the unlucky Vettel. The long runs continued as the minutes clicked down, so nobody was out there trying to improve on their best times.

Besides his engine problems, Grosjean also had his brakes wearing out and the team told him to pit because it was unsafe to continue. He was 17th fastest at the time. Teammate Maldonado had gearbox woes.

Meanwhile, Hulkenberg radioed in that the grip level was unbelievably poor.

With four minutes to go, Jean-Eric Vergne lost the right rear wheel on his Toro Rosso and stopped at Turn 3.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Alonso, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Button, Massa, Maldonado and Kvyat.


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