Tag Archives: FP2

Kvyat Stays Ahead Of Mercedes In FP2

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat stayed ahead of the Mercedes duo when he clocked the fastest lap of the second practice session ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Kvyat had recorded the second fastest time in the morning’s opening session when Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz had topped the time sheets, with the Mercedes drivers of Rosberg and Hamilton taking third and fifth. After their surprise lack of speed at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, all eyes were on the Silver Arrows to see if, as Vettel had predicted, they could bounce back to their usual dominance. Indeed, Rosberg was only 0.023s shy of Kvyat’s time, yet Championship leader Hamilton was over half a second behind his team-mate. Daniel Ricciardo sandwiched the Mercedes men with a time good enough for fourth, while the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and the Toro Rosso pairing of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen slotted into fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Verstappen’s running was delayed as the team searched for a lost bolt on the rookie’s car, and thus completed the least laps of any running driver – 5.

Felipe Nasr clocked ninth, almost a full second ahead of Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado who rounded out the top ten. Fernando Alonso had a delayed running when his car was reassembled by the team, meaning he came out during the heaviest rain period which left him down the order in 17th. His team-mate drove a time good enough for twelfth while Romain Grosjean – whose ties with Haas are getting stronger as the week progresses – settled in for fifteenth. Felipe Massa was twentieth for Williams, while team-mate Bottas chose not to participate and so did not complete a lap. The Manor drivers of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi, the latter celebrating his 24th birthday today, filled out the final places on the time sheets.

Although Kvyat has outpaced both Mercedes drivers so far this weekend, and Rosberg has kept far ahead of team-mate Hamilton, the fact that the rest of the weekend will be dry means realistically we can’t predict who’ll take pole on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow morning’s FP3 session, when the teams trial the dry tyres and prepare for Qualifying, will give us a much better idea of how the grid may take shape.

Free Practice Two Results:

  1. Daniil Kvyat
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Lewis Hamilton
  4. Daniel Ricciardo
  5. Sebastian Vettel
  6. Kimi Raikkonen
  7. Carlos Sainz
  8. Max Verstappen
  9. Felipe Nasr
  10. Pastor Maldonado
  11. Nico Hulkenberg
  12. Jenson Button
  13. Marcus Ericsson
  14. Sergio Perez
  15. Romain Grosjean
  16. Felipe Massa
  17. Fernando Alonso
  18. Will Stevens
  19. Alexander Rossi
  • Valtteri Bottas (No Time)

Image courtesy of Red Bull/Getty Images


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Hamilton Maintains Advantage In FP2

Lewis Hamilton maintained his advantage over Nico Rosberg as he finished practice on Friday afternoon with nearly three tenths over his team-mate. At a track where Rosberg has never finished about fourth but where Hamilton has won four times, the latter is looking to take victory in order to reel in the gap to his Championship-leading team-mate. The other Mercedes man was predictably second and held a four-tenth lead over the-best-of-the-rest Sebastian Vettel, whose pace became evident after he swapped to the softer, quicker tyre compounds mid-session. Fernando Alonso was three-tenths shy of Vettel, losing time to the Red Bull in the first two sectors where the several sweeping corners put the Red Bull at an advantage. Kevin Magnussen in fifth split Alonso from his team-mate in sixth, while Daniel Ricciardo narrowly took seventh from Williams’ Valtteri Bottas who looked a lot faster than he had this morning. Jenson Button and Felipe Massa finished ninth and tenth respectively, as they did in the first session.

The Toro Rosso duo narrowly missed out on the top ten and thus qualified eleventh and twelfth, Kvyat leading Vergne, who is celebrating his fiftieth Grand Prix this weekend. Nico Hulkenberg couldn’t better thirteenth while his team-mate Perez sandwiched former Force India driver Adrian Sutil, who finished fourteenth. Pastor Maldonado survived an early spin to finish seventeenth, but his team-mate was forced to sit out most of the session as his car underwent work in the Lotus garage. Esteban Gutierrez finished eighteenth, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi, who proved to be the quickest of the back-markers. The Marussias of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton finished twentieth and twenty-first, leaving Marcus Ericsson to fill out the back of the grid.

Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team. 

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Hamilton Leads Rosberg In Second Practice

Lewis Hamilton took the top spot on Friday afternoon, swapping positions with Nico Rosberg who took the other Mercedes to the top of the time sheets during the morning practice session. Although Hamilton’s edge over Rosberg will give him some fuel for mind games, in reality very little separates the two racers – specifically two-hundreths of a second – which points to a tight fight for pole and the race win this weekend, excluding any technical gremlins like the ones which have cost Mercedes in the past few races.

Daniel Ricciardo took up his usual position as best of the rest, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who was under extra pressure to make up for lost time due to a water pump issue during the morning session. McLaren star Kevin Magnussen took fifth while Button in seventh sandwiched Williams’ Felipe Massa in sixth. Sebastian Vettel was eighth for Red Bull and Fernando Alonso ninth for Ferrari, with Valtteri Bottas filling out the top ten.

The rest of the grid fell in behind the Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams pairings, all of whom appear to be increasingly close. Slightly far back was Adrian Sutil in eleventh for Sauber and Daniil Kvyat twelfth for Toro Rosso. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were uncharacteristically far down for Force India, ahead of the STR9 of Jean-Eric Vergne who himself was flanked by the Lotus duo. Bianchi proved fastest of the back-markers, with Kamui Kobayashi far off the pace due to a suspected battery fire which broke out half an hour into the session and ended his running prematurely. With enough of a challenge already, Kobayashi may now face a penalty if there has been damage to his gearbox or engine.

Free Practice Two results:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Daniel Ricciardo
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Kevin Magnussen
  6. Felipe Massa
  7. Jenson Button
  8. Sebastian Vettel
  9. Fernando Alonso
  10. Valtteri Bottas
  11. Adrian Sutil
  12. Daniil Kvyat
  13. Sergio Perez
  14. Nico Hulkenberg
  15. Jean-Eric Vergne
  16. Pastor Maldonado
  17. Romain Grosjean
  18. Esteban Gutierrez
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Marcus Ericsson
  21. Max Chilton
  22. Kamui Kobayashi

Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team. 

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Mercedes Retain Control During FP2

Mercedes stayed untouchable at the top of the timesheets as the Bahrain International Circuit got to try out their new floodlights during the afternoon practice session. Lewis Hamilton took an early lead of the session and lost it briefly, only due to the fact that he wasn’t the first driver to fit the much faster option tyres. Once he did, he retook control of the session and remained unchallenged at the top.

Rosberg’s 1.34.690 was three tenths slower than Hamilton’s lap, which itself was a full second faster than the quickest time set by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso – the third fastest man this afternoon. Daniel Ricciardo moved up to fourth, but Ferrari reckon they can out-race the Red Bulls due to the Ferrari’s better fuel management. Felipe Massa was fifth for Williams and could be heading to the stewards office to give his side of the story after a close call between himself and Esteban Gutierrez on the back-straight when Gutierrez moved in front of the Brazilian. Nevertheless, neither driver should expect any punishment for what was simply a slight misunderstanding.

Another driver who is heading to the stewards office, and could leave with a reprimand, is Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg who swerved in front of Force India’s Sergio Perez between turns 3 and 4 when the Mexican went to overtake the German. There was no contact, but it was still a close call. Jenson Button also came close to tapping into the back of Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham when he was caught out by the difference in speed over the two cars.

Sebastian Vettel was seventh for Red Bull and Daniil Kvyat, who continuously called for “more power” was eighth, ahead of McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen in ninth and Sergio Perez in tenth. Valtteri Bottas was eleventh for Williams and Jean-Eric Vergne was twelfth in the other Toro Rosso.

Adrian Sutil, whose session ended when his Sauber ground to a halt on the back straight, finished the afternoon in fifteenth, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez who took sixteenth in the sister car. Pastor Maldonado took a trip skywards when his Lotus straddled the kerb at turn 4 – where Kimi Raikkonen also got airborne in the morning session. Max Chilton had a strange incident at the same spot, spinning out of control in the braking zone for turn 4, before coming to a halt just off the track, bringing a premature end to his session. Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson also pulled over prematurely, albeit only a few minutes before the session ended, with a smoking front set of brakes.

Free Practice 2 Results

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. Daniel Ricciardo
  5. Felipe Massa
  6. Jenson Button
  7. Sebastian Vettel
  8. Daniil Kvyat
  9. Kevin Magnussen
  10. Sergio Perez
  11. Valtteri Bottas
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne
  13. Nico Hulkenberg
  14. Kimi Raikkonen
  15. Adrian Sutil
  16. Esteban Gutierrez
  17. Pastor Maldonado
  18. Romain Grosjean
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Max Chilton
  21. Kamui Kobayashi
  22. Marcus Ericsson

Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Puncture Fails To Keep Vettel From Top In FP2

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was the top man in this afternoon’s practice session ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. Both Red Bulls swapped fastest laps early on with Sebastian finally trumping Webber by five-hundreths of a second. His early fast-lap made sure that he finished the session on top despite failing to make it to the end of the session. Twenty-minutes from the end the Red Bull crawled into the pitlane with a punctured rear right Pirelli. As of yet, it’s not been determined what caused the failure, but opens the door to concerns for Red Bull who are infamously tough on their tyres at Spa.

Romain Grosjean was third for Lotus – eight tenths down on second placed Mark Webber. Felipe Massa was fourth, Jean-Eric Vergne fifth, Kimi Raikkonen sixth and Fernando Alonso seventh. Sergio Perez finished the session eighth for McLaren ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in ninth and Paul di Resta in tenth.

Adrian Sutil was right behind his team-mate in eleventh while Lewis Hamilton was down in twelfth for the Silver Arrows. Nico Hulkenberg was thirteenth for Sauber, narrowly beating Pastor Maldonado, Jenson Button and Daniel Ricciardo who finished fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth respectively. Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez finished the session in seventeenth and eighteenth.

Giedo van der Garde was ninteenth, and best of the backmarkers, but also failed to finish the session. Merely seconds after Vettel pulled into the garage to end his session, the Caterham struck the barriers at Stavelot. Replays showed the Dutchman losing it on the apex and simply running out of run-off space. Interestingly, it was the same place that Sebastian Vettel seemed to develop his puncture which could seem to suggest that the curbs were to blame for both incidents. Charles Pic finished twentieth, Jules Bianchi twenty-first and Max Chilton missed the session due to steering issues which saw him finish twenty-second.

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