Spanish GP 2017

MAY 12, 2017

Practice 2 Report - Reduced margin

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2017
© The Cahier Archive


By Dan Knutson in Barcelona

The Mercedes cars were a second quicker than the Ferraris in Free Practice 1, but that margin was reduced in FP2. Mercedes was still quickest, with Lewis Hamilton fastest of all, but now the gap to Ferrari was three to four tenths of a second. On long runs the pace was quite similar between the two cars.

The lineup for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Force India Mercedes - Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll; McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault - Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer; Toro Rosso Renault - Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz; Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Hamilton went quickest in FP1, clocking a 1:21.521 on the medium compound Pirelli slicks.

Magnussen and Palmer were the first out in FP2, doing practice starts on the way.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Centigrade).

Raikkonen, on the medium tires, set the early pace with a 1:23.143. Seventeen minutes into the session, Bottas beat that with a 1:23.062. Everybody was running the mediums at this stage.

The McLaren crew had changed Alonsos Honda engine during the break, and they were finishing up the job as the session began. He got on track 25 minutes into FP2.

Next, Vettel became the first driver to try the soft compound tires, and he posted a 1:21.220.

Soon others were out on the softs, including Raikkonen who turned a 1:21.112, Bottas who did a 1:20.892, and Hamilton who crossed the line in 1:20.802.

Just before the midpoint of the session Ricciardo tried the softs. His 1:21.585 put him fifth. Then Verstappen displaced him with a 1:21.438.

Hulkenberg, Palmer, Massa and Sainz rounded out the top 10 with 40 minutes remaining.

Raikkonens Ferrari was acting up, and neither he nor the team knew exactly what was going on. Confused radio messages ensued.

The session was red flagged with 29 minutes remaining because of debris on the track at Turn 9 from Sainzs car. It was restarted four minutes later after a quick clean up.

Everybody but Alonso got out on track, leading Magnussen to radio ºunbelievable traffic now.¹ Alonso soon joined the traffic.

With the teams now doing long runs, the order remained Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Palmer, Massa and Sainz.