Hamilton continues strong pace into FP2 in Baku

Credit: Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team

Lewis Hamilton continued his strong pace into Free Practice 2 at the European Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver had outpaced team-mate Nico Rosberg in the first practice session, and he continued this success into FP2 by setting a fastest lap time of 1:44.223 to go 0.690 seconds faster than Rosberg.

The German didn’t complete the whole practice session after reporting of a ‘problem with the drive’ of his car, which led to a Virtual Safety Car as the marshals had to recover his W07 from the side of the track.

A surprising finish for Sahara Force India driver Sergio Perez who set a fastest lap time of 1:45.336 to finish behind the Mercedes duo in third. Behind Perez was the Williams Martini Racing of Valtteri Bottas who finished the session only 0.428 seconds behind the Force India.

The second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg finished the session with a time of 1:45.920 to complete the top five at the Baku City Circuit. Carlos Sainz Jr finished the session ahead of former team-mate Max Verstappen for Scuderia Toro Rosso in sixth.

Behind Red Bull Racing‘s Verstappen was the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel who had a disappointing session when he finished in eighth. Even though he improved on his morning session fastest lap time he was unable to keep up with the other drivers. Near to the end of practice, the German was experiencing problems with his SF16. His engineers told him “We had an issue with the [MGU-]K, same as Kimi.”

The McLaren-Honda of Jenson Button improved on his morning session to finish FP2 with a time of 1:46.234 in ninth ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. During FP1, Ricciardo brought out the red flags after he crashed out at the exit of Turn 15, loosing a rear wheel and his wing, but his engineers were able to fix his RB12 before the start of FP2, so the Aussie could complete a whole session.

Just missing out of the top ten by setting a fastest lap time 0.205 seconds behind Ricciardo was the second McLaren of Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard spent some of the session in the garage while the team worked on the car after cruising into the pits while the car sounded pretty painful. Behind Alonso was the Haas F1 of Romain Grosjean who set a fastest lap time of 1:46.681 to go twelfth fastest.

Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing session for Ferrari after setting the thirteenth fastest time of 1:46.694, 0.475 seconds behind team-mate Vettel. With a few minutes of the session remaining the Finnish driver locked up heading into Turn 4, leading him to go down the escape road. His SF-16 experienced a MGU-K issue which is exactly the same as what Vettel experienced afterwards.

Behind Raikkonen was Daniil Kvyat who finished the session in fourteenth for Toro Rosso and ahead of the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez. The Mexican had an eventful session after clipping the barriers at the Tower turn. Felipe Massa had a disappointing session after he finished sixteenth, 1.3 slower than team-mate Bottas.

Kevin Magnussen improved on his morning session for Renault Sport to go seventeenth fastest ahead of the first Manor Racing of Rio Haryanto. The Indonesian improved on his morning session time to finish with a time of 1:47.487 to complete the session ahead of the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson. Ericsson had a late start to FP2 after the team needed to change his engine after he experienced an exhaust problem in FP1.

The Swede was able to finish the session with a time of 1:47.772 ahead of the Renault of Jolyon Palmer. After a good opening session where he finished eighteenth, the best Palmer could finish in FP2 was in twentieth with a time of 1:47.794. Pascal Wehrlein was able to finish the session for Manor in twenty-first ahead of the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr.

European Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Result

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1:44.22333
26Nico RosbergGERMercedes1:44.91326
311Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1:45.33637
477Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1:45.76435
527Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1:45.92037
655Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1:46.02735
733Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:46.06835
85Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1:46.21936
922Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1:46.23432
103Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:46.29332
1114Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1:46.49827
128Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas-Ferrari1:46.68129
137Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1:46.69432
1426Daniil KvyatRUSToro Rosso-Renault1:46.74435
1521Esteban GutierrezMEXHaas-Ferrari1:46.83026
1619Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1:47.06028
1720Kevin MagnussenDNKRenault1:47.32938
1888Rio HaryantoINOManor-Mercedes1:47.48733
199Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1:47.77222
2030Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1:47.79435
2194Pascal WehrleinGERManor-Mercedes1:48.01836
2212Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1:48.08138