Mercedes continue to dominate in Spain as Ferrari close in

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton mastered the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday after setting the fastest lap in Free Practice 2 for the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix.

The Brit set a time of 1:20.802 to take the top spot on the Soft compound, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas only 0.090 behind him. This finish from the Silver Arrows means they clinch the top spot in both practice sessions in Spain, an improvement from their performance in pre-season testing in Barcelona. Kimi Raikkonen continued his strong pace from this morning into FP2 as he finished in third for Scuderia Ferrari, ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Gearbox issues in Free Practice 1 hindered Vettel’s performance in Free Practice 1 but with no problems in FP2 he was unable to perform any better to compete with Mercedes. Max Verstappen finished two tenths behind Vettel and led the Red Bull Racing duo for FP2, similar to his performance from this morning. Daniel Ricciardo finished just under one and a half tenths behind Verstappen in sixth.

Nico Hulkenberg – Renault Sport Formula 1 Team. Spanish GP 2017 FP2. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Nico Hulkenberg finished the race in seventh, improving from his FP1 position of ninth, with a time of 1:21.687 he finished ahead of Renault Sport Formula 1 team-mate Jolyon Palmer. For Palmer this was his first run of the weekend as he handed the wheel of the RS17 to Sergey Sirotkin in FP1. The Brit finished in the session in eighth, improving massively on Sirotkin’s performance as his session was hit with problems and ended early.

Felipe Massa finished in ninth for Williams Martini Racing with a time of 1:22.015, improving from his FP1 performance where he finished fourteenth. Rounding up the top ten was the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, who experienced some problems during this session. After running over the exit kerbs at Turn 9, his Toro Rosso shed debris, which caused a brief red flag an hour in so the marshals could clear the track.

Just missing out on the top ten was Romain Grosjean, who finished 0.106 behind Sainz for Haas F1 Team, a position that was three places down from his FP1 pace. Esteban Ocon finished ahead of his Sahara Force India Formula 1 team-mate in twelfth, setting a time of 1:22.520 an impressive led from Sergio Perez as in FP1 the Mexican led the Force India duo. Splitting the two was Stoffel Vandoorne for McLaren Honda Racing Formula 1 Team with a time of 1:22.693.

Kevin Magnussen – Haas F1 Team. Spanish GP 2017 FP2. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

After struggling at the start of the session, Kevin Magnussen had to settle for fifteenth with a time of 1:23.007. The Danish struggled with the car as he kept reporting back to the team that something was wrong, with him having no grip on the circuit. Haas could see nothing odd on the data to understand what he was experiencing. Haas gave Magnussen some instructions on differential settings he could change to get the car to his liking.

Finishing in sixteenth was the Sauber F1 Team of Marcus Ericsson with a time of 1:23.082, ahead of the second Williams of Lance Stroll, who experiencing a little better session that the morning where he finished a disappointing eighteenth. Daniil Kvyat couldn’t replicated his performance from this morning as he finished down in eighteenth, nearly a second behind his team-mate Sainz who finished tenth. The struggles with the C36 seemed to continue into FP2 for Pascal Wehrlein as he finished in nineteenth for Sauber.

Fernando Alonso was the last timed driver, as he struggled with the MCL32, it hasn’t been a good start to his home Grand Prix. He emerged half an hour into the session after an engine failure in FP1 meant an engine change was on the cards for him which meant her had to wait longer to complete proper runs. At one stage Alonso ranted on the radio that, “The engine feels good. Much slower than before. Amazing,” venting his frustration to the team.

2017 Spanish Grand Prix - FP2 Results

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1:20.80239
277Valtteri BottasFINMercedes1:20.89238
37Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1:21.11234
45Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1:21.22036
533Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:21.43829
63Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:21.58535
727Nico HulkenbergGERRenault1:21.68740
830Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1:21.99243
919Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1:22.01538
1055Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1:22.26534
118Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas-Ferrari1:22.37136
1231Esteban OconFRAForce India-Mercedes1:22.52037
132Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren-Honda1:22.69336
1411Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1:22.72232
1520Kevin MagnussenDNKHaas-Ferrari1:23.00732
169Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1:23.08237
1718Lance StrollCANWilliams-Mercedes1:23.22135
1826Daniil KvyatRUSToro Rosso-Renault1:23.23627
1994Pascal WehrleinGERSauber-Ferrari1:23.59931
2014Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1:24.07721