Second free practice for the German Grand prix was topped by Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes. Who topped the time sheets ahead of his team-mate with a 1:18:341 in the blistering afternoon heat at the Hockenheimring.
In this morning’s session, Nico Rosberg topped the session by a narrow margin to his team-mate Lewis Hamilton and in the second free practice session it was a similar story. As in FP2 the gap between the two was again just 2 hundredths of a second.
Back in this morning’s session, the temperature at the Hockenheimring was rising across the morning and this did not ease going into the afternoon session, with the ambient temperature at 32 degrees Celsius. Along with the track hitting 56 degrees Celsius, around 20 degrees hotter than in FP1. If the temperature remains in this area for Sunday, it could be the hottest race of the year. However there is rain predicted for the race.
Within the first five minuets of the session, Marcus Ericsson had been forced to stop on the side of the circuit on the rundown to turn two. Before he parked his Caterham, he was told over the radio to “slow down, cool down the engine.” Before being told to stop the car. Eventually, with around a third of the 1.5 hour session, Marcus Ericsson was able to rejoin the action.
But to the cars still running out on track, the early lap times were soon being pushed down the order as the drivers began setting 1 minuet 20’s and 1:21’s. But when the Silver Arrows started flying, they flew to the top with Rosberg setting a 1:19:729 on his first timed lap before shaving half a second of his own time.
Later on into the session, Kobayashi in the other Caterham car was forced to bring his FP2 session to an end. He had reported on the team radio that he had no brakes. But as he tried to manage his way back to the pits, the rear of his car caught fire in the stadium section. Kamui soon pulled over, leapt out the cockpit and darted away from the car to fetch a fire extinguisher.
Whilst Kamui dealt with his Caterham, there were still drivers out on the track. One of which was Nico Hulkenberg, who managed to improve on his best lap time to record a 1:19:593, moving himself into second position behind Rosberg. Speaking of Rosberg, he headed out a few minuets later on the supersoft compound for the first time this weekend.
Along with Rosberg, Ricciardo was one of the many drivers now out on the supersoft tyres, which were providing an instant gain. Especially for Ricciardo who set the fastest overall middle and final sector times of FP2 on his way to a time sheet topping 1:18:443. This time wouldn’t keep him at the top for long however, as the two Mercedes regained their one-two as Hamilton improved to set a 1:18:341.
The drivers were finding large improvements once they changed over to the supersoft compound. At McLaren, Magnussen was able to find around 2 seconds when running on the option compound tyres. Similarly, Bottas at Williams was able to find a large improvement once he changed over to the red branded tyres. After his soft compound running, he was lingering down in 15th place, over 2 seconds off the pace when others were running the supersofts. But with the fresh tyres, he improved to 10th place, gaining 1.2seconds on his previous best time.
As the session entered the final 15 minuets, Mercedes called Rosberg into the pits. Unfortunately Hamilton was in the pit box for longer than they wished when changing his tyres. As Rosberg had already committed to sitting behind his team-mate in the pit lane, his breaks began to smoke heavily. This coming as a result of the blistering heat of the cars in general and the track temperature, which had now risen to 58 degrees.
After the drivers changed back to the soft compound tyres, the lap times dropped heavily with Ricciardo and Hamilton setting 1:22:9s. With the drivers now back on the soft compound tyres, the times being set were very close together. If the conditions are similar going into qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday, it could be a much closer weekend than usual.
The time sheet from FP2 at the German Grand Prix show Mercedes secured another one-two finish, but the gap back to third place Ricciardo was just 1 tenth of a second. Furthermore, there was just over half a second separating fourth place Raikkonen with 12th place Kvyat.
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:18.443||0.102||35|
|8||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:19.248||0.907||35|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:19.581||1.240||28|
|14||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:19.593||1.252||32|