Lewis Hamilton has again topped the timesheets in another rain-hit practice session, finishing just under half a second to Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg. By contrast, the session was a disaster for Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg, who crashed out of the session.

Kimi Räikkönen posted a 1:39.486 to finish in third position, six-tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace.

Thirty minutes into the session and the track was still very wet when Rosberg exited Turn 8 and skated into the wall, smashing nose first into the barriers which knocked the front wing off. The German tried to crawl back to the pits with the nose somehow still attached, but Mercedes advised that he park the car to avoid risking further damage.

There was a brief Virtual Safety Car period while Rosberg’s stricken Mercedes was retrieved from the side of the circuit, then the session resumed with Carlos Sainz Jr sitting in P1 over 1.6 seconds faster than Daniil Kvyat.

Rosberg’s accident exhibited the reason why there was no track action for the first 15 minutes of the session, as no team wants to risk having a shunt when the rest of the weekend’s conditions appear to be dry.

Fernando Alonso finished a strong session sixth for McLaren, while teammate Jenson Button was a position behind in seventh. The pair had a trouble free session completing a combined 32 laps, with Alonso briefly holding the fastest time of the session until Räikkönen demoted him.

Several drivers spent more than half of the session in the garage as there was little to be learned on the wet track. Hamilton was among the six drivers to not set a time until the last 30 minutes of the session.

Those not bothering to set a time at all included the two Williams drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson, and Max Verstappen from Toro Rosso. The latter didn’t venture out onto the circuit during the entire session.

Both Red Bull Racing drivers finished the second practice session in the top ten, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and leading his teammate Kvyat in tenth.

Driver Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:38.841 6
2. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 0.467 8
3. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 0.645 7
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 0.694 9
5. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 0.853 16
6. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 1.054 16
7. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 1.167 13
8. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 1.920 7
9. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 2.415 8
10. Daniil Kvyat ru Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 3.570 10
11. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 4.050 10
12. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 4.560 24
13. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 4.890 8
14. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 5.463 22
15. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 8.515 4
16. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 no time 2
17. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 no time 5
18. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 no time 2
19. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 no time 2
20. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 no time 0
21. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 no time 0
22. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 no time 0

George Hitchens Photography

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

Image via George Hitchens Photography

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Josh Kruse

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