Practice 2: Hamilton fastest as Mercedes dominate

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day in Shanghai fastest of all

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day in Shanghai fastest of all

Apr.16 (YF1) A McLaren Mercedes driver was again quickest in the second free practice session, on a cold but eventually sunny, opening day of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

This time it was Lewis Hamilton who topped the timing screens ahead of Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP), Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes) and Michael Schumacher (Mercedes GP). The top four were covered by less than a half a second.

Fastest again, of the non-Mercedes powered cars, was fifth fastest Sebastian Vettel who headed up his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber.

Seventh on the final timing screens was Adrian Sutil (Force India)  ahead of Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) who headed Robert Kubica (Renault).

The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were 10th and 11th respectively. The Spaniard finally doing laps after an engine problem saw him sidelined during the first session.

Fastest of the Cosworth runners was Rubens Barrichello, down in 15th and almost 2.5 seconds down on Hamilton’s best.

Over four seconds slower off the pace was Jarno Turlli (Lotus) who again was fractionally faster than team mate Heikki Kovalainen. Lotus fastest of the new teams again in China.

The comparatively slow pace of the new teams came into the spotlight in the session as a number of fist waving incidents took place as the faster drivers were baulked, mostly inadvertently, while on faster laps.

This included Alonso who came upon a much slower Bruno Senna (Hispania Racing) and was forced to take avoiding action. Earlier in the session Button had a similar situation with Lucas di Grassi (Virgin Racing). Both incidents highlighted the plight of both drivers in these potentially dangerous and certainly frustrating situations.

Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) was forced to sit out the session after his scary accident in free practice one.  According to team boss Franz Tost, Buemi’s crash was caused by a failure of the front-right upright connecting the wheel to the front suspension which overloaded the left-hand one, causing it to break too. Alarmingly they were new before the session began.

Practice 2 Lap Times

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.217 26
2 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:35.465 0.248 22
3 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.593 0.376 26
4 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:35.602 0.385 28
5 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:35.791 0.574 30
6 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:35.995 0.778 29
7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.254 1.037 31
8 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:36.377 1.160 43
9 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:36.389 1.172 29
10 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.604 1.387 33
11 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.944 1.727 36
12 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:36.986 1.769 27
13 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.421 2.204 32
14 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.431 2.214 33
15 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:37.657 2.440 30
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:37.804 2.587 31
17 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:37.867 2.650 29
18 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.624 4.407 35
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.947 4.730 30
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:40.233 5.016 27
21 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:41.008 5.791 32
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:41.107 5.890 28
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:41.345 6.128 32
24 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari No time 0