Mercedes re-assume practice form as Rosberg tops FP2

Nico Rosberg ensured Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS resumed normal service by posting the fastest time in the second free practice session on Friday in Bahrain.

Both Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton were noticeably down the order in the opening session, but were back in first and second places in the evening session as darkness engulfed the desert track.

It wasn’t plain sailing for Rosberg however, with his team calling him into the pits before the session ended when his engineers noted a problem in the telemetry.

Hamilton’s quickest lap could have been quicker too, had he not suffered a locked-up front wheel at turn eight.

This relegated the two Scuderia Ferrari’s back into third and fourth, with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Sebastian Vettel once more, although the German’s session was affected by a collision as he exited the pits with the Sahara Force India of Sergio Perez that damaged the front wing of the Ferrari and brought out a brief three-minute red flag period to clear up the debris from the circuit.

Stewards subsequently investigated the incident between Vettel and Perez, but no action was taken.

Once more, it was Valtteri Bottas who was the leading Williams Martini Racing driver in fifth, and was closer to the pace of Ferrari than the team had been so far in 2015, although it will become clearer the true pace of all teams and drivers during qualifying on Saturday.

Sixth fastest was Daniel Ricciardo in the leading Infiniti Red Bull Racing entry, while team-mate Daniil Kvyat was just over four tenths of a second slower than the Australian in ninth.

Pastor Maldonado, still searching for his first finish of the season, was seventh for the Lotus F1 Team, almost a second clear of team-mate Romain Grosjean in thirteenth, who was having his first session of the weekend after watching Jolyon Palmer drive his car in FP1.

For the second time on the day, Felipe Nasr was eighth for the Sauber F1 Team, while the second Williams of Felipe Massa completed the top ten, just behind Kvyat.

It was another troublesome session for McLaren however, and in particular Jenson Button. After failing to set a time in the first session, he completed the least amount of laps of anyone in the second, and set a best time that was slower than the Manor of Will Stevens.

Bahrain Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Times

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m34.647s
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m34.762s
37Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m35.174s
45Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m35.277s
577Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m35.280s
63Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m35.449s
713Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m35.474s
812Felipe NasrITASauber-Ferrari1m35.793s
926Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m35.883s
1019Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m35.884s
119Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m36.148s
1214Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m36.191s
138Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m36.334s
1455Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m36.471s
1527Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m36.805s
1633Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m36.917s
1711Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m37.062s
1828Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m39.131s
1922Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m39.209s
2098Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m40.592s