Lewis Hamilton has topped the second practice time sheets less than half a second ahead of Kimi Räikkönen and Daniel Ricciardo.
The session began similarly to FP1, where there was an early spin this time by Sebastian Vettel, and Nico Rosberg setting the pace.
Räikkönen was experiencing trouble with his brakes which saw him pit for the team to make the required adjustments. Then 30 minutes into the session he put on the soft compound tyre and went fastest by 1.3 seconds over Rosberg.
Räikkönen wasn’t the only driver to suffer brake problems, as Felipe Massa and Daniil Kvyat both had their session cut short. Massa was on a flying lap heading towards the Turn 14 hairpin when his rear brakes locked, sending him sideways where his nose touched the wall causing minor damage and bringing out the red flag.
Kvyat was leaving the pit box when his left rear brake overheated and caught fire, the team became aware of the issue and told him to nurse the car back to the garage. On his way down the back straight his brakes failed completely, sending him onto the run-off area and into the wall.
Shortly after Räikkönen went fastest on his new set of soft tyres, Hamilton did the same and relegated him to second; only he was 0.44 seconds faster than Räikkönen in the Ferrari, when in FP1 he was at least a second quicker.
Judging by the long runs, it seems as though Ferrari’s win in China wasn’t a complete fluke.
Both Räikkönen and Vettel were posting competitive times to the Mercedes pair and generally only two or three tenths of a second behind. What stood out was Vettel’s lap of 1:43.525 on tyres that were 21 laps old, when the Mercedes was averaging lap times in the low 1m43s.
Red Bull Racing chose not to run in the first half an hour of the session to save engine miles. During this time they altered their aero setup in an attempt to gain speed lost on the back straight. Ricciardo’s long run times were not far off Ferraris, so we should see them higher up in the top-ten on Sunday.
McLaren look to have made progress with Jenson Button two seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark in tenth, and Fernando Alonso half a second behind in twelfth.
|2015 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:37.219||32|
|2.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:37.662||+ 0.443||35|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:38.311||+ 1.092||24|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:38.339||+ 1.120||30|
|5.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:38.399||+ 1.180||35|
|6.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:38.737||+ 1.518||10|
|7.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:38.850||+ 1.631||27|
|8.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:39.032||+ 1.813||26|
|9.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:39.142||+ 1.923||32|
|10.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:39.275||+ 2.056||29|
|11.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:39.444||+ 2.225||30|
|12.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:39.743||+ 2.524||27|
|13.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:39.751||+ 2.532||33|
|14.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:39.894||+ 2.675||32|
|15.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:39.971||+ 2.752||28|
|16.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:40.151||+ 2.932||28|
|17.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:40.423||+ 3.204||7|
|18.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:40.868||+ 3.649||24|
|19.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:42.973||+ 5.754||27|
|20.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:44.564||+ 7.345||8|
Images via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team and XPB Images