Tag Archives: Free Practice Two

Hamilton Quickest In Silverstone Despite Early Retirement

The Mercedes duo swapped their order from this morning’s practice session and Lewis Hamilton took the fastest lap time, despite retiring with thirty minutes left on the clock. Closing the 0.7s gap which stood between leader Rosberg and Hamilton this morning, Hamilton finished the afternoon practice running with a lead of 0.2s.

Max Chilton and Valtteri Bottas were the first men to grace the track this afternoon and the opening minutes proved more straight-forward than the morning. Romain Grosjean eventually broke the relative peace by going off-road in his Lotus, although he managed to keep the nose of his car out of the barriers and returned to the track.

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t as lucky when he hit bad luck and, just four corners after coming out of the pits, he pulled over and climbed from his cockpit. Paddy Lowe confirmed that it was an oil pressure problem which triggered the engine shut-down, almost a mirror copy of Susie Wolff’s incident, but said that Lewis was not using his race engine today, meaning it will not affect his race.

Jean-Eric Vergne was the next man to return to the pits prematurely as, after thirteen laps of solid running, his front left tyre came loose and forced him to pull off the track. Only minutes later, Valtteri Bottas suffered a bizarre engine cover failure on the left hand side of his car, while Marcus Ericsson suffered one on the right hand side of his Caterham, the former pulling into the pitlane and the latter pulling his car off at the old pit lane.

With rain predicted for tomorrow but not Sunday, today is expected to be the last day of dry-running for the drivers before the race. Could his limited running cost Hamilton as he battles Rosberg for another home victory?

Free Practice Two results:

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

Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Alonso Leads Hamilton In FP2

Fernando Alonso beat Lewis Hamilton to the top of the time sheets during today’s mixed-weather FP2 session. The Spaniard put in a late fast lap to beat the morning’s fastest man by 0.4s. The pace may not be representative, however, as Hamilton set a fastest first sector before meeting a slow Nico Hulkenberg and abandoning his lap. On his second attempt, he came across Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham in the barriers before the tunnel which caused him to abandon that lap too. His third attempt moved him to second, behind Alonso. Sebastian Vettel was third for Red Bull, seven-tenths behind Alonso, and three tenths ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne who took fourth for Toro Rosso. Valtteri Bottas was the first man to take to the track this afternoon and ended the session in fifth.

Bottas’ one lap run was after a fifteen minute wait as the teams waited for someone else to go out and dry up the track following a pre-session hail storm. After Bottas’ installation lap – and his unhappiness with the conditions – a twenty minute wait followed as no one dared venture out. Finally Adrian Sutil took to the track but returned without setting a lap while the Toro Rosso drivers came out. Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne had the circuit to themselves as they got to work beating their team-mate’s fastest lap, until the Ferrari’s also joined them. Raikkonen wasn’t out for long, however, as he exited Rascasse and couldn’t select a gear. He nursed his ill-sounding Ferrari back to the pitlane where his team confirmed that his gearbox had failed. As it was a practice unit, he will not be penalised.

In contrast to the quiet start to the session, the last ten minutes of FP2 looked like a Q3 session as each driver worked to get their run in. Traffic is always a problem in Monaco and, as I mentioned, Hamilton was affected twice in three laps. Alonso managed to get a particularly impressive lap down which Hamilton could not better. Rosberg, who shadowed Hamilton in the morning session, finished in twentieth. Despite the low result, it still seems that he could be involved in a four way battle for pole during Saturday’s Qualifying session. Will it be Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso or Ricciardo starting Sunday’s race from the front?

Free Practice Two results:

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

Image courtesy Scuderia Ferrari. 

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Hamilton Fastest In Opening Monaco Practice

Lewis Hamilton lay down his challenge for pole position this morning as he topped the opening practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix. The Briton was predictably shadowed by his team-mate Nico Rosberg who ended the practice session three-hundredths of a second behind Hamilton, at the race where Rosberg was last year victorious. Daniel Ricciardo was two tenths behind for Red Bull as he once again proved to be the best of the rest while Fernando Alonso slipped his Ferrari into the gap between Ricciardo and the other Red Bull.

The drivers were clearly unsettled as they raced on the tight and windy streets of Monte Carlo for the first time since adopting the ‘greener’ V6 engines which give them more power and less control of the cars which left them sliding their way around the principality. Max Chilton was the first driver to take to the track and looked very uneasy in the cockpit, before spinning at Mirabeau and prematurely ending his session. He wasn’t the only driver to be caught out there, however, as Adrian Sutil hit the barriers and Fernando Alonso out-braked himself and took to the escape road. Sutil’s team-mate, Esteban Gutierrez, also had a moment at Saint Devote when he out-braked and was also forced to take to the escape road at the first corner.

Free Practice One results: 

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

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Hamilton Rounds Out Dominant Friday

Lewis Hamilton retained his stronghold over the grid today as he went fastest again at the Circuit de Catalunya. He had held a gap of 0.8s to second placed Jenson Button in the morning session, but with Nico Rosberg’s car fully repaired, he saw that breathing space halved to 0.4s. The big talking point wasn’t with Mercedes though, as Sebastian Vettel failed to take to the track following his FP1 mechanical failure which saw him pull over on his fourth lap.

“We had to change the chassis loom, which is a big job so I wasn’t able to go out this afternoon, ” Vettel said, reflecting on his disappointing day. “It’s a small failure, but a big consequence; there was nothing new on that part of the car, it was something new that happened in that area. Luckily it happened today (rather than tomorrow), but unfortunately we lost the chance to prepare for Sunday with two cars, so I have to rely on what Daniel did today and get into the rhythm straight away tomorrow.” 

While Vettel suffered, Daniel Ricciardo was third for the team, while Fernando Alonso took fourth for Ferrari in front of his adoring home crowds. Pastor Maldonado recorded eighth this morning for Lotus, and his ninth in FP2 looked towards potential recovery after their forgettable start to the season, but as the end of the afternoon running approached, a gearbox issue reared its ugly head and sent him back to the pits prematurely. Romain Grosjean also pitted early as the team grew nervous of a brakes issue.

Free Practice Two Results:

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

Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Hamilton Back On Top For Mercedes

Photo (c) Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Photo (c) Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Fernando Alonso’s time at the top was short-lived as Lewis Hamilton retook Mercedes’ stronghold over the grid during FP2. Alonso had taken the quickest time in FP1 as Hamilton uncharacteristically occupied eighth place, but order was restored as title favourite Hamilton returned to the top of the order. But although Hamilton took the quickest time, he complained that there was something wrong with the car all day and returned to his garage early, suggesting that there is more to come from the Briton.

Alonso being quick in the opening practice session and then far down the order as the weekend progresses is very much the norm nowadays, but Alonso finished second today – a good result to beat a Mercedes. The other Silver Arrows driver was third, four tenths behind the Prancing Horse. The Red Bull duo of  Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were right up Rosberg’s gearbox at the end of the session, while Felipe Massa in sixth led Kimi Raikkonen who took over from the Brazilian at Ferrari. Jenson Button was seventh for McLaren ahead of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who rounded out the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg was eleventh ahead of Kevin Magnussen, the two young talents separated by as little as 0.008s. Jean-Eric Vergne finished the session in thirteenth while Valtteri Bottas took fourteenth and Sergio Perez took fifteenth. The Sauber duo of Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil were sixteenth and seventeenth, ahead of Pastor Maldonado who, for the second session in a row, provided the talking point after a bizarre incident. Whereas in FP1 he had driven into the gravel while looking at his wheel, in the afternoon session he was driving into the pit lane when he went wide and hit the barrier, buckling the front of his Lotus. The Venezuelan is not doing himself any favours after the international criticism he received for his crash with Esteban Gutierrez during the last race.

Jules Bianchi was the best of the back-markers for Marussia, who retook thirteenth in the Constructors’ Championship when Chilton finished thirteenth in Bahrain, ahead of his team-mate and the Caterham duo of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.

FP2 Results:

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

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