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Chinese GP 2016

APRIL 15, 2016

Practice 2 Report - Red China

Kimi Raikkonen, Chinese GP 2016
© Active Pictures

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel used the super soft Pirelli slicks with the red sidewalls to clock the fastest lap times in their red Ferraris during Free Practice 2 for the Chinese Grand Prix. Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton ended up third and fourth.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Centigrade.)

The doctors examined Fernando Alonso after FP1 and ruled that he was fit to take part in the rest of the weekend.

The line-up for the session was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault - Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari - Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Manor Mercedes - Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

Grosjean got things underway as the first driver out of the pits, and he set a time of 1:40.908 on the soft compound Pirellis.

Bottas was soon circulating in the Williams, but his teammate Massa who had had two tires come partially off the wheel rims in FP1, remained in the pits as the team was still examining his car. The same was true at Renault where Magnussen's car, which had had a left rear tire problem in FP1, was in the garage while his teammate Palmer was out on the track. Magnussen would not take part in FP2.

Pirelli's investigation confirmed that neither driver had had a tire problem.

Ten minutes into the session Rosberg climbed on top with a time of 1:37.761. Gutierrez, meanwhile, came into the pits with his left rear brake on fire.

Massa headed out on the track, and clocked a 1:40.304.

"We had two punctures," Massa told Sky Sports between the two sessions. "Why, I don't know. We are investigating why we are having this problem. For sure something is touching the tyre or the wheel or whatever. So we need to understand."

At the 30 minute mark Rosberg with a time of 1:37.133 was still fastest. Ricciardo, Hamilton, Button, Hulkenberg and Alonso rounded out the top six. But then Hamilton turned a 1:37.329 on the super soft tires to move into second place.

Now others were going out on the super soft Pirellis. The top two remained the same, but now the order behind them was: Ricciardo, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Perez, Bottas, Alonso and Button.

Just before the midpoint of FP2 Vettel was 20th but now was out on the super softs. He set a 1:37.005, which was 0.128 of a second quicker than Rosberg.

Next Raikkonen tried the super softs. He went 0.109 of a second faster than Vettel to clock a 1:36.896.

Having done their qualifying simulations, Rosberg and Hamilton were now concentrating on long runs to check out tire degradation. Other drivers did the same. It got very busy out on the track with all the drivers except Magnussen and Gutierrez out doing laps.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 were: Raikkonen, Vettel, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Perez and Bottas.