Hamilton and Mercedes ahead again in FP2

by Paul Hensby

Lewis Hamilton was fastest again in second practice as Mercedes AMG PETRONAS set the pace before the rain began to fall around the streets of Monaco on Thursday.

Hamilton set a best time of 1m17.192s early in the session, 0.740s clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg, who was the only driver to get within a second of the quickest time.

Roberto Merhi caused an early red flag, when the Manor F1 Team driver hit the barrier exiting the tunnel, although the young Spaniard, who has stepped out of his Formula Renault 3.5 Series drive this weekend with Pons Racing to focus on Formula 1, was able get out of the car unharmed.

Just as the session resumed, rain began to fall, with drivers reluctant to leave the pit lane until the final ten minutes, when some drivers ventured out on either the full wet or intermediate Pirelli tyres.

The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers were third and fourth fastest, with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, while Daniil Kvyat was the only Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver inside the top ten; the Russian driver setting the fifth fastest time while Daniel Ricciardo struggled to sixteenth, although just 1.091s separated the team-mates.

Both Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers finished inside the top seven, with Carlos Sainz Jr ahead of Max Verstappen this time, with the Dutchman unable to match his excellent second place he managed in FP1.

Fernando Alonso finished an encouraging eighth quickest for the McLaren-Honda team, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg’s Sahara Force India, while Romain Grosjean completed the top ten for Lotus, just ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez.

The Williams Martini Racing team had a disappointed afternoon session, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas a lowly twelfth and thirteenth quickest, just 0.006s apart but over 2.3s off the pace.

Pastor Maldonado ended fourteenth in the second Lotus ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren, while Felipe Nasr was seventeenth for Sauber behind Ricciardo. Despite ending his session in the barrier, Merhi ended up quicker than Manor F1 Team team-mate Will Stevens, while Marcus Ericsson did not participate in the session as his Sauber developed an ERS failure.

Monaco Grand Prix Practice 2 Times

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m17.192s
26Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m17.932s
35Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m18.295s
47Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m18.543s
526Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m18.548s
655Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m18.659s
733Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m18.782s
814Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m18.906s
927Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m19.151s
108Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m19.266s
1111Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m19.300s
1219Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m19.560s
1377Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m19.566s
1413Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m19.577s
1522Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m19.606s
163Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m19.639s
1712Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m20.263s
1898Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m22.017s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m22.943s
209Marcus EricssonSWESauber-FerrariNo Time

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