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Hungarian GP 2016

JULY 22, 2016

Practice 2 Report - Crashing ahead

Nico Rosberg
© The Cahier Archive


By Dan Knutson in Budapest

Nico Rosberg finished Free Practice 2 ahead of the rest of the drivers as he set the fastest lap time of the session. His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, crashed early and had to sit out the rest of the session. Yet Hamilton still managed to post a decent lap time in those early laps that put him fifth in standings.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Centigrade.)

The line-up for the weekend 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 Max Verstappen. Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault - Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari - Daniil Kvyat 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.

Hamilton had used Pirelli's super soft compound slicks to set the fastest time in FP1 - a 1:21.347.

Grosjean was the first out for the session. And Raikkonen set the early quick time - a 1:23.218 - using the soft compound tires. His teammate Vettel reported gearbox problems and headed for the garage.

But Rosberg, on the softs, soon sliced the times down to a 1:21.961. Then Hamilton had a go on the softs and clocked a 1:21.960 - a mere 0.001 of a second quicker than his teammate.

Then it all went wrong for Hamilton when he spun into the barriers at Turn 11. The session was red flagged at the 13 minute mark even though Hamilton had managed to get the car going again. However, the tire barriers at Turn 11 needed repair.

The session was restarted after a nine minute delay.

Raikkonen tried a set of the super softs but could only to a 1:22.117, which was 0.157 of a second slower than Hamilton's time on the harder compound.

As for Hamilton, he would not go out again in the session as the mechanics had to dismantle his car and check for any accident damage.

Next Rosberg lapped on the super softs and turned a 1:20.435.

Grosjean was not happy. "Problem on the brake, problem on the brake," he groused over the radio. "The rear was all over the place. I really get fed up..."

Just before the midpoint of FP2, Ricciardo and Verstappen tried out the super softs for the first time that day. Ricciardo posted a 1:21.030 and Verstappen a 1:21.770 as the Red Bull drivers moved into second and third. The gap from Mercedes in first to Red Bull in second was therefore 0.595 of a second.

With 40 minutes remaining, the order was: Rosberg, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Perez. Vettel was down in 15th. But when Vettel finally got a run on the super softs he jumped up to third with a time of 1:21.357, which he then improved to a 1:21.348.

With 30 minutes remaining, the drivers were doing long runs and race simulations. But some drivers still had some speed as Alonso, who had been in the garage as the mechanics replaced the floor of the McLaren, moved into seventh place.

Magnusson, who had been running wide at Turn 4 on numerous occasions, now had a spin at Turn 2. A few minutes later Nasr pulled off at Turn 2 and parked the Sauber. Sainz then spun at the same turn. Then he went around the track only to park at Turn 1. "Something at the rear," he radioed.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 were: Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel, Verstappen, Hamilton (who did not get a chance to try the super soft tires), Raikkonen, Alonso, Button, Hulkenberg and Perez.