Chinese Grand Prix | Raikkonen leads a Ferrari one-two in FP2

Supersoft Pirelli’s see Raikkonen lead Vettel in a Ferrari one-two in second free practice for the Chinese Grand Prix

After the tyre failures in first free practice, Formula One moved on to the supersofts which saw Ferrari leap ahead of Mercedes by two-tenths. Raikkonen’s flying lap drop the benchmark into the 1:36s, as Fernando Alonso was cleared to race in China.

Fernando had been banned from racing in Bahrain by the FIA due to the broken ribs he suffered in Australia. But now, with clearance from the FIA following a post-FP1 check, the Spaniard has moved from provisional clearance to full clearance to race in China. Yet the FIA has also told him that he must “stop his car immediately in case of any abnormal symptoms”.

For FP2, Fernando would go on to edge Jenson in the other McLaren by just on tenth of a second with both lapping in the high 1:38s. Jenson’s early pace saw him top the leaderboard, but nine-tenths off Rosberg’s morning time.

Esteban Gutierrez’s luck in the Haas once again did not show at the start of FP2, with the Mexican’s brakes catching fire early on. This comes after Esteban was forced to sit out the morning session with an electrical glitch.

Speaking of the morning session, Renault felt it best to rest Magnussen as they continued to investigate the cause of his tyre and suspension failure. Palmer however took part in the afternoon’s session with a best time of 1:39.774.

Palmer’s best was some way shy of the pace setting leaders, with Raikkonen lighting up the timesheet with his first flyer on the supersofts. Vettel had already taken the lead over the Mercedes’ who scrapped it out earlier on, but it was Kimi who extracted the most in FP2 to lead the way into the long runs.

Kimi and Lewis’ long runs showed the Mercedes to lap faster in the first few laps of the stint, before the Ferrari clawed time back a few laps in. This could suggest the Mercedes pushes too early but gets better times at first, while the Ferrari may be able to go longer.

Pos Driver Time
1 Kimi Raikkonen 1:36.896
2 Sebastian Vettel 1:37.005
3 Nico Rosberg 1:37.133
4 Lewis Hamilton 1:37.329
5 Daniel Ricciardo 1:38.143
6 Max Verstappen 1:38.268
7 Nico Hulkenberg 1:38.527
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. 1:38.542
9 Sergio Perez 1:38.569
10 Valtteri Bottas 1:38.723
11 Fernando Alonso 1:38.728
12 Jenson Button 1:38.828
13 Daniil Kvyat 1:39.178
14 Felipe Massa 1:39.214
15 Jolyon Palmer 1:39.774
16 Romain Grosjean 1:39.890
17 Pascal Wehrlein 1:39.941
18 Marcus Ericsson 1:39.979
19 Rio Haryanto 1:40.550
20 Felipe Nasr 1:41.066
21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:42.954
22 Kevin Magnussn No time set