Nico Rosberg has finished Friday’s practice on top in a rain-affected second session at the Red Bull Ring, narrowly ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg set a late lap to finish in third, 0.6 seconds off the pace.

Rosberg set his best time of a 1:07.967 only a few minutes into the session before heavy rain began falling at Turns 8 and 9. The rain quickly picked up in volume and within moments the track was covered with standing water.

This saw the entire field confined to their garages as the rain swept across the Red Bull Ring and flooded the main straight.

With half of the session remaining, Daniel Ricciardo was the first driver to head out to the track on a set of intermediate tyres, to which his Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen soon followed.

The rest of the field – apart from Hamilton, the Sauber and Manor Racing drivers – also joined the circuit to evaluate the condition of the track, as more rain is forecast during qualifying tomorrow.

Track conditions improved every lap as the sun returned, so it became difficult to gauge which teams ran well on the intermediate tyre. Carlos Sainz enjoyed a strong session, as he set competitive times on the wet track and finished the session in sixth position overall.

Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen was the first driver to make the switch to slick tyres with 18 minutes of the 90-minute session left to run. The Finn put on a set of super soft tyres while his teammate Sebastian Vettel chose the ultra-softs.

Hamilton put in his best time of the session to slot into second position on the ultra-soft tyre, while Vettel brought the session to an early end after the German slid off the track into the Turn 2 gravel, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car.


FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2016 – FREE PRACTICE 2 SESSION RESULTS
Driver Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:07.967 25
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.019 19
3. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 0.613 28
4. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 0.622 25
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 0.682 30
6. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 0.746 32
7. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 0.794 20
8. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 0.853 23
9. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 0.974 24
10. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 1.027 30
11. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 1.108 26
12. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 1.217 17
13. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 1.240 26
14. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 1.259 32
15. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 1.558 19
16. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 2.053 23
17. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 2.067 20
18. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.171 16
19. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.173 19
20. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.433 31
21. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.477 22
22. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 3.361 25

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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Josh Kruse

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