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Spanish GP 2016

MAY 13, 2016

Practice 2 Report - Barcelona R&R

Nico Rosberg, Spanish GP 2016
© The Cahier Archive


By Dan Knutson in Barcelona

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen were fastest in Free Practice 2 for the Spanish Grand Prix. R&R's respective teammates Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel wound up third and fourth.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 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.

Haryanto and Grosjean got things rolling. And it was Grosjean who set the early fast lap time with a 1:28.595.

The Ferrari duo of Vettel and Raikkonen had been quickest in FP1, but they were also the only drivers to use Pirelli's soft compound tires with the yellow sidewalls. The rest of the drivers had used the mediums with the white sidewalls and the hards with the orange sidewalls.

Raikkonen quickly went fast again in FP2 as he posted a 1:26.521.

Palmer, who had to give his car to Esteban Ocon in FP1, had a left rear tire explode on the main straight and parked the Renault down at Turn 1. That brought out the red flags 10 minutes into the session so that the car could be retrieved. The session was restarted eight minutes later.

At this time the fastest lap time belonged to Vettel: 1:26.306. Ricciardo soon got close to that with a lap of 1:26.337, but then Hamilton slammed in a 1:25.607 on the medium tires.

Twenty-three minutes into the session Raikkonen clocked a 1:24.176 on the soft tires. Sainz, also on the softs, was second with a time of 1:25.131. Hamilton was third with his 1:25.607.

FP2 was 37 minutes old when Ricciardo made a run on the soft slicks. He slotted into third place after turning a 1:25.194. Then Vettel, on the soft Pirellis, moved into second with a 1:25.017 while Verstappen claimed fifth with a 1:25.375.

Just past halfway through the session Rosberg did his "soft" lap that resulted in a 1:23.922. The order was now: Rosberg, Raikkonen, Vettel, Sainz, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Perez, Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Bottas.

Forty minutes remained when Ferrari radioed to Raikkonen that he should slow down and pit because the car had a problem with the fuel system. Next Hamilton headed out on the soft Pirellis but could only do a 1:24.641 - he hit traffic - which put him in third place.

With 25 minutes remaining the top 10 were: Rosberg, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, Sainz, Ricciardo, Alonso, Verstappen, Perez and Hulkenberg.

As usual the track was busy in the final third of the session as the drivers did long runs with heavy fuel loads. Even Palmer was out there after his car had been returned to the pits. In the final stretch only Gutierrez was in the pits.

One of those drivers was not very happy.

"It's just undriveable," Grosjean radioed to the Haas pit. "Say what you want but I think we have ****** up somewhere."

The top 10 remained unchanged at the end of FP2.