German GP | Rosberg tops FP2 as track limits rumble on

Rosberg edges Hamilton to top Free Practice Two at the German Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg is still on top in Hockenheim, with Hamilton unable to dislodge his German team-mate at his home Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the topic of track limits rumbled on with reports of a driver having ran wide 14 times at turn one alone in the opening session.

In the morning session, the Mercedes duo held a comfortable margin over their rivals with both Ferrari and Red Bull lapping off their pace.

This once again was the case in FP2, as Mercedes locked out the top two spots once more with Rosberg edging Hamilton by three-tenths of a second.

Hamilton had demoted Nico to second place in the early stages, with traffic and locking tyres affecting both drivers.

Those setbacks did not hold Hamilton or Rosberg back, though, with the pair retaining a half a second lead to Red Bull and 1.6 seconds to Ferrari.

Vettel too claimed that traffic had compromised his soft tyre run, while his car’s balance was “quite open”. Adding: “the steering wheel is still not straight – still turning to the right going in a straight line.”

Raikkonen meanwhile was taking the top spot away from the initial pace setting Hulkenberg in both stages of the session. With Hulkenberg opening the session with the first flying lap and setting the first top spot time on supersoft tyres.

Rosberg’s supersoft time did, however, push Raikkonen down to create an eight-tenths margin to the Ferrari and Red Bulls.

When Vettel later set his supersoft time, he moved into third place. With Sebastian two-tenths down on second-placed Hamilton, and with a two-tenth lead to fourth-placed Verstappen.

Flying laps on supersoft tyres did not last long in FP2 as long runs began to be carried out.

Over those laps, Mercedes averaged 1:20.5 second laps on the supersoft tyres, with Red Bull averaging one tenth down. Ferrari, on the other hand, was averaging 1:20.9s while showing a higher rate of degradation than Red Bull.

As for the mid-field runners, Hulkenberg showed averages in the 1:21s with Magnussen lapping in the 1:22s. Times comparable to that of Williams while on the soft compound.

As the long runs were finishing, McLaren’s Jenson Button was out of the car and heading for the medical centre.

Button had reported earlier in the session that his cockpit was beginning to warm up – McLaren could not find a cause. But he was sent to the medical centre for checks after something began to irritate him inside the car.

Jenson was then referred to the hospital in Mannheim to deal with an eye irritation.

Running wide at turn one once again remained a topic of discussion throughout the session.

In the morning opener, it was found that drivers had run wide at the first corner 93 times. With Max Verstappen reportedly guilty of running wide 14 times alone.

Yesterday, at the F1 Strategy Group meeting, teams had looked to relax the track limits being enforced. With many feeling that running over the kerbs was creating a better spectacle for fans who may have not been supporting of the penalties.

Charlie Whiting, however, has sought to refute the claims as he looked to keep track limits under control. With the three-strikes equalling a final warning remaining in place.

“It was proposed by some that we should take a completely relaxed view on track limits,” said Formula One’s Race Director.

“But I felt that was inappropriate. I think we should carry on doing what we do.”

After FP1, Ferrari’s driver pairing of Vettel and Raikkonen received some attention from fellow drivers for their track limit breaches. With Alonso claiming “We need to make a new circuit for the Ferraris. So they can run alone.”

Pos Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg 43 1’15.614
2 Lewis Hamilton 36 1’16.008 0.394
3 Sebastian Vettel 39 1’16.208 0.594
4 Max Verstappen 40 1’16.456 0.842
5 Daniel Ricciardo 38 1’16.490 0.876
6 Kimi Raikkonen 45 1’16.512 0.898
7 Nico Hulkenberg 43 1’16.781 1.167
8 Jenson Button 16 1’17.087 1.473
9 Sergio Perez 44 1’17.148 1.534
10 Fernando Alonso 21 1’17.225 1.611
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. 32 1’17.342 1.728
12 Daniil Kvyat 38 1’17.367 1.753
13 Valtteri Bottas 44 1’17.425 1.811
14 Romain Grosjean 13 1’17.602 1.988
15 Felipe Massa 40 1’17.686 2.072
16 Esteban Gutierrez 42 1’18.005 2.391
17 Kevin Magnussen 46 1’18.056 2.442
18 Marcus Ericsson 28 1’18.130 2.516
19 Pascal Wehrlein 42 1’18.193 2.579
20 Jolyon Palmer 47 1’18.313 2.699
21 Rio Haryanto 47 1’18.591 2.977
22 Felipe Nasr 41 1’19.295 3.681