Hamilton beats Vettel to end FP2 on top in Spain

Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time at the Circuit de Catalunya as Sebastian Vettel managed to separate the two Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers in the second free practice session on Friday.

Hamilton’s best time of 1m26.852s was enough to see him end the session on top, but Vettel put his Scuderia Ferrari into second place, albeit 0.408s down on the Mercedes driver.

Vettel was also assisted by the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg having a small moment on his quickest lap, with the German also complaining of a gear shift issue that could have cost him time as well as he ended the session 0.764s down in third.

Kimi Raikkonen was once again fourth fastest in the second Ferrari, while Daniil Kvyat had a much better session in the leading of the two Infiniti Red Bull Racing entries to finish fifth fastest, but once again it was Daniel Ricciardo who suffered more mechanical woes, with the Australian being confined to the pit lane until just minutes before the end of the ninety minute session while the team fitted his fourth and final power unit to his car. Ricciardo ended the session down in thirteenth, completing just four laps of the Circuit de Catalunya.

Max Verstappen completed a good day for him and his Scuderia Toro Rosso team by setting the sixth fastest time of the session, just 1.165s slower than Hamilton, while team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr was ninth quickest, 0.657s down on Verstappen.

It was a much stronger session for the McLaren-Honda team on Friday afternoon, with Jenson Button putting in a time that saw him end the session an encouraging seventh quickest, 1.642s down on the ultimate pace, proving that the team are making the steps to improve their race craft this season. Team-mate and home hero Fernando Alonso was just over two tenths of a second back from the Briton, but this saw him finish just outside the top ten in eleventh.

Eight and tenth quickest were the two Williams Martini Racing drivers, with Valtteri Bottas, back in the car after allowing Development Driver Susie Wolff compete in FP1, ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa. It was another disappointing day for the Grove team, who have dropped well off the pace of Mercedes after being their main rivals towards the back end of the 2014 season.

Romain Grosjean had an eventful session for the Lotus F1 Team, causing a brief red flag period when the rear bodywork of his car detached itself at high speed down the front straight, covering the track with carbon fibre. He later ran off the circuit after a mistake, but ended twelfth quickest, 0.131s and two places higher than team-mate Pastor Maldonado.

It was a disappointing session for both the Sauber F1 Team, with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson fifteenth and sixteenth, and Sahara Force India, who saw Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finish seventeenth and eighteenth, ahead only of the two Manor F1 Team drivers who once again brought up the rear, Will Stevens again ahead of Roberto Merhi.

Spanish Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Times

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m26.852s
25Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m27.260s
36Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m27.616s
47Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m27.780s
526Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m27.943s
633Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m28.017s
722Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m28.494s
877Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m28.525s
955Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m28.674s
1019Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m28.712s
1114Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m28.723s
128Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m29.086s
133Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m29.098s
1413Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m29.217s
1512Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m29.333s
169Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m29.361s
1727Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m29.601s
1811Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m29.707s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m31.929s
2098Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m32.751s