Ferrari and Force India close as Mercedes continue to Lead


At the end of second practice, it’s once again the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team leading the way with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton at the head of the field. However; a good session by their rivals see them close the gap.

It was Hamilton setting the early pace as the medium tyres warmed up. This allowed him to match his team-mate’s time from the opening session before setting a time four tenths quicker than his morning best.

Nico Rosberg would respond by closing the gap on his team-mate and ending the day with a two hundredths deficit to the other Mercedes.

It was clear that Mercedes weren’t going to have it all their own way though. While they were the only drivers to drop below 1 minute 25 seconds, third placed Sebastian Vettel managed to finish just 0.759 off the pace, halving his gap to Hamilton in one session.

Once again it was the Sahara Force Indias who lined up as best of the rest with Sergio Perez leading the duo this time. His best of a 1:25.278 was narrowly under a second slower than Hamilton’s best while Nico Hulkenburg was just behind in fifth.

The Force Indias would trade positions for most of the session and once again beat Kimi Raikkonen to sixth who continued to struggle for pace in the second Ferrari, ensuring the top six as the same for both sessions.

The Lotus F1 Team went from strength to strength as Romain Grosjean managed to finish seventh ahead of team mate Pastor Maldonado. Both of them beat the other Mercedes powered cars of Williams Martini Racing.

Behind the top ten, others chose to run different strategies with young Russian Daniil Kvyat out on Medium tyres in the knowledge both drivers would receive grid penalties for power unit component changes.