Rosberg pips Hamilton in rain-hit second practice

Nico Rosberg - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Nico Rosberg continued to set the pace at the Red Bull Ring as he beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.019 seconds in a rain-hit second practice session on Friday.

Rosberg was quickest before the heavens opened after less than ten minutes of the session gone, with his time of 1:07.967 enough to lead the way despite the circuit drying in time, his time was untouchable, although Hamilton got mighty close.

Nico Hülkenberg was third as the Sahara Force India team once again showed good pace, with the German outpacing Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari by 0.009 seconds, while Daniel Ricciardo was only a further 0.060 seconds back in the leading Red Bull.

Ricciardo and team-mate Max Verstappen were the first drivers to venture out on track after the rain shower had passed over the circuit, both on the intermediate Pirelli tyres, while Vettel was the first out on slicks with about twenty minutes remaining.

Verstappen ended the session seventh, just behind Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, while Kimi Raikkonen was eighth in the second Ferrari despite finding himself off track at turn five early in the session just before the rain.

Valtteri Bottas ended the session in ninth for Williams Martini Racing, while Jenson Button outpaced McLaren-Honda team-mate Fernando Alonso to complete the top ten.

Felipe Massa was just behind the two McLaren’s in twelfth for Williams, with Daniil Kvyat next up in the second Toro Rosso, while Sergio Perez ended his first session of the weekend in fourteenth after sitting out the opening session in favour of Force India test driver Alfonso Celis Jr.

The Renault Sport F1 duo of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were fifteenth and sixteenth, albeit half a second apart, while Pascal Wehrlein was seventeenth for Manor Racing ahead of the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez.

Marcus Ericsson was next up for Sauber ahead of Romain Grosjean, while Felipe Nasr and Rio Haryanto ended the session at the back of the field.

Button, Perez and Palmer were a number of drivers on the track on dry tyres when the rain began to fall, with all three having wild moments as they crept around the track to make their way back into the safety of the pit lane.

Red Bull Ring Free Practice 2 Times

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1:07.96725
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1:07.98619
327Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1:08.58028
45Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1:08.58925
53Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:08.64930
655Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Ferrari1:08.71332
733Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:08.76120
87Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1:08.82023
977Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1:08.94124
1022Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1:08.99430
1114Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1:09.07526
1219Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1:09.18417
1326Daniil KvyatRUSToro Rosso-Ferrari1:09.20726
1411Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1:09.22632
1520Kevin MagnussenDENRenault1:09.52519
1630Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1:10.02023
1794Pascal WehrleinGERManor-Mercedes1:10.03420
1821Esteban GutierrezMEXHaas-Ferrari1:10.13816
199Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1:10.14019
208Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas-Ferrari1:10.40031
2112Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1:10.44422
2288Rio HaryantoINOManor-Mercedes1:11.32825