Lewis Hamilton has held his advantage over team-mate Nico Rosberg by setting the fastest time in the second practice session.

The session was interrupted by a red flag brought out by Roberto Merhi, who lost control under braking coming out of the tunnel and put his Manor Marussia into the wall. There wasn’t much damage as initially thought as Merhi only lost his front wing.

During the red flag it began to lightly rain. Pastor Maldonado ventured out onto the circuit on slick tyres once track conditions went green, however, the rain started again although this time it got heavier and didn’t stop.

The rain lasted for almost an hour, which meant the entire field stayed in their garages as there was no point risking damage to their cars.

Now the drivers are left with a lot to make up for in the third practice session on Saturday, where long runs will need to be tested as well as the super soft tyre will need to be run to be fully prepared for qualifying.

Once the rain stopped and the track started to dry there were 10 minutes left to run in the session. Fernando Alonso was the first to test the wet track on intermediate tyres. The Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat quickly followed.

Nico Rosberg took to the track on full wet tyres, although there was next to no difference between the two wet compounds.

The two Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished third and fourth respectively, and could be a threat to the Mercedes pair if they can qualify close to the silver arrows.

Both Toro Rosso drivers made the top ten again with Carlos Sainz Jr. in sixth and Max Verstappen a tenth of a second behind in seventh. The pair were quicker than Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean, who rounded out the top ten.

The Mercedes-powered Williams finished further down the grid than usual, Felipe Massa was 12th while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas could only manage 13th. Also out of position was Daniel Ricciardo, who ended the session in 16th after finishing third in FP1.

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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