Schumacher's Mercedes was too quick for the photographers en route to claiming top spot in FP2

With Mercedes’ ‘Super DRS’ now having been deemed legal by the FIA Stewards, Michael Schumacher raced to the top of the timesheets in today’s second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The seven-time World Champion beat the morning’s quicker driver, Lewis Hamilton, to top spot by 0.172 seconds in a dry session.

With this morning’s running hit by intermittent rain, the teams took advantage of the afternoon’s drier – albeit chilly – conditions to make up for the lack of suitable running conditions earlier on. However, rain remains a distinct possibility for the rest of the weekend.

Drivers struggled to generate adequate heat in their Pirelli tyres, and the lack of grip – coupled with the circuit’s bumpy nature – saw almost the entire field suffer major lock-ups over the course of the 90-minute session. Felipe Massa, Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button each had major moments at the circuit’s famous hairpin, which resulted in badly flat-spotted Pirelli tyres for the trio.

There were also a few spinners: Paul di Resta and Heikki Kovalainen both had spins at the last corner, while Kamui Kobayashi had a spin on the track’s twistier infield.

Paul di Resta had this dramatic spin at the final corner Glock's day ended early when he crashed out

The major moment of the session came for Timo Glock, who suffered a high-speed slide into the Turn 1 tyre barriers when his front wing came off his Marussia. The German emerged from the accident unscathed, although he complained of minor pain in his hand as a result of the impact.

Up at the front Hamilton finished the session second-quickest, while Sebastian Vettel overcame some DRS issues in the morning to go third-quickest, with his Red Bull RB8 equipped with the team’s ‘launch spec’ exhaust configuration.

Team-mate Mark Webber finished fourth-fastest running the team’s newer-spec exhaust layout, just under three-tenths slower than Vettel, while Nico Rosberg was fifth-fastest and six-tenths off Schumacher’s best lap-time.

Massa again struggled in the ill-handling F2012Despite troubles with understeer and locking brakes, Jenson Button was sixth-quickest in the second McLaren, while the top-ten was completed by Kamui Kobayashi, di Resta, Nico Hülkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

Alonso’s Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa was again well off the pace in the F2012, with the Brazilian almost a second off the Spaniard’s pace.

The Lotus F1 pairing of Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean also appeared to struggle in the cooler conditions, with the pair ending the session 13th and 15th quickest respectively.

2012 Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:35.973   32
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:36.145 + 0.172 29
3. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:36.160 + 0.187 27
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:36.433 + 0.460 24
5. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:36.617 + 0.644 31
6. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:36.711 + 0.738 28
7. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:36.956 + 0.983 28
8. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:36.966 + 0.993 31
9. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:37.191 + 1.218 31
10. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:37.316 + 1.343 32
11. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:37.417 + 1.444 22
12. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:37.616 + 1.643 33
13. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:37.836 + 1.863 30
14. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:37.930 + 1.957 32
15. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:37.972 + 1.999 26
16. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:38.176 + 2.203 25
17. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:38.293 + 2.320 31
18. Bruno Senna BRA Williams Renault FW34 1:38.783 + 2.810 37
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:38.990 + 3.017 36
20. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:39.346 + 3.373 20
21. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:39.651 + 3.678 15
22. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:40.343 + 4.370 25
23. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:40.753 + 4.780 30
24. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:41.125 + 5.152 26

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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