Nico Rosberg tops the second free practice session at the British Grand Prix ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel.
The glorious weather at Silverstone continued, while Nico Rosberg topped back to back practice sessions at the British Grand Prix. But Rosberg only managed to find one tenth more than this morning with the option tyres fitted as he fended off the threat of both Ferrari’s while Luffield claimed the first victims of the weekend.
No matter how glorious the weather is at Silverstone, McLaren‘s weekend got off to a testing start to say the least. In FP1 they sat in the garage for the most time out of the teams due to not wanting to put a lot of stress into an old engine they may need to use again at some point.
At the other end of the grid, Mercedes through Rosberg showed that even with a gearbox issue leading to a change, they still can rapidly pull away from the field and top the time sheet. But even after the gap between FP1 and FP2, the struggle Rosberg was suffering with harsh upshifts did not go away at first. There again, it still did not prevent Nico setting a lap time nearly a second faster than the nearest non-Mercedes driver in the opening stages.
For McLaren during the early stages of the session, they completed as many laps as most. However the running was brought to a brief stop after Romain Grosjean beached the Lotus within the first 20 minutes. He had sat out FP1 for Palmer to take another practice session, but after he came to rest in the gravel at Luffield he suggested there could have been a brake issue that caused him to overshoot his braking point and beach the car.
The red flag was not out for too long however, but the corner claimed another victim soon after the restart. The only difference being, Fernando Alonso managed to keep his car moving at just the right speed in order to beach it in the gravel after his McLaren would not take the right hand corner and repeatedly snapped to the left.
The Spaniard soon hit the pits for the team to check the car for any damage. But while he sat in the garage, others hit the pits on the medium tyres. With the option tyres fitted, Vettel moved clear of Hamilton’s early benchmark lap time. But it was Nico Rosberg who sat in P1 by four tenths of a second to Vettel after his first flying laps lifted him above the field.
After the stoppage, long runs were the order of the day and the fight for the fastest lap was over. But Hamilton however was forced into a continual battle with his car as he looked to sort out his set up.
For other drivers, Massa and Bottas struggled to get within the same long-run pace as Mercedes were managing with Rosberg. But worse was that they were lapping slower than both Toro Rosso’s who were continuing to have a strong practice session. The biggest difference however is Williams rarely are strong on a Friday and save it for the weekend.
Yet as the teams settled into their programmes, the second red flag fell as another driver found themselves in Luffield’s gravel trap. This time the victim was Roberto Merhi as he got Manor a few minutes of screen time after spinning his car on the way into the corner before the front wheels were beached in the trap and the red flag was brought out. Luckily for everyone else, Merhi was able to reverse out of the gravel shortly after the red flags came out and the session was back underway soon enough.
But with long runs being carried out until the chequered flag fell, Rosberg topped the time sheet at the British Grand Prix for the second time today. In FP2 however Ferrari overtook Hamilton in the order with both cars, but still remained over three tenths behind Rosberg.