With his maiden win at Shanghai still fresh in his memory, Nico Rosberg has posted the fastest lap-time in today’s second practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Force India stole some of the limelight with their decision to abandon any running in order to get its entire team back to its hotel before nightfall on what is feared to be the biggest day of anti-government protests in the island kingdom.
To the cameras, the teams management was citing the safety concerns of its staff members after four of its crew were caught up in a near-firebombing of their hire car on Wednesday evening. But the team’s press release claimed that the outfit had quit the afternoon’s running for “logistical reasons”.
To the action on-track, and it was again a largely incident-free session, although a couple of drivers had minor off-track moments as they explored the track limits and battled high tyre degradation on the abrasive track surface.
With the action taking place in front of a pathetic crowd that would be lucky to crack three figures, Mark Webber headed the timesheets early on in his Red Bull RB8 until his position was demoted a sensational flying lap from Rosberg, with the German’s 1:32.816 proving untouchable for the rest of the session.
Running the less-liked newer exhaust configuration once again, Sebastian Vettel finished the session third-quickest, with both Red Bulls showing decent pace over longer runs.
The morning session’s fastest man, Lewis Hamilton, was fourth-quickest in his McLaren, and complained that the set-up changes the team had made were now not to his liking. The 2008 World Champion finished ahead of Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Kamui Kobayashi, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Pérez.
2012 Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:32.816||35|
|2.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:33.262||+ 0.446||26|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:33.525||+ 0.709||28|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:33.747||+ 0.931||26|
|5.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:33.862||+ 1.046||31|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:34.246||+ 1.430||28|
|7.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:34.411||+ 1.595||34|
|8.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:34.449||+ 1.633||31|
|9.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:34.615||+ 1.799||32|
|10.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:34.893||+ 2.077||34|
|11.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:34.895||+ 2.079||29|
|12.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:34.941||+ 2.125||29|
|13.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:35.183||+ 2.367||33|
|14.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:35.229||+ 2.413||26|
|15.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:35.419||+ 2.643||38|
|16.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:35.913||+ 3.097||32|
|17.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:35.968||+ 3.152||35|
|18.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:36.169||+ 3.353||30|
|19.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:36.587||+ 3.771||32|
|20.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:37.803||+ 4.987||33|
|21.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:37.812||+ 4.996||28|
|22.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:39.649||+ 6.833||27|
|NP.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||no time||0|
|NP.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||no time||0|