Nico Rosberg has closed out Friday’s track action at the Bahrain Grand Prix with the fastest time in the floodlit second practice session.

The early championship leader finished ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, with the Silver Arrows once again setting the early pace at the Sakhir circuit after achieving a similar result in the preceding FP1 session.

Rosberg took full advantage of the cooler track conditions and a set of fresh Super Soft tyres to lower his FP1 benchmark by over a second, posting a 1:31.001. Hamilton was two-tenths of a second slower.

The surprise performer of the session was McLaren’s Jenson Button, who took his unfancied McLaren-Honda third-quickest, 1.2 seconds off the ultimate pace, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen. The Englishman’s debutante teammate Stoffel Vandoorne improved on his FP1 showing by going eleventh-fastest, seven-tenths of a second slower than the 2009 champion.

Ferrari claimed fifth- and sixth-fastest on the time sheets, with Kimi Räikkönen lapping a couple of tenths faster than Sebastian Vettel on a late Super Soft tyre run. A mistake by Vettel on his sole Super Soft tyre run consigned him to sixth place, and he later stopped on the circuit with an issue at the left-rear of his Ferrari SF16-T.

The Red Bull Racing and Williams teams rounded out the top-ten, with Daniil Kvyat slotting ahead of Valtteri Bottas, and Daniel Ricciardo edging out Felipe Massa.

The new Haas F1 Team showed its midfield credentials with Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean finishing twelfth- and fourteenth-fastest after running inside the top-ten for much of the 90-minute session. Worryingly, Grosjean had his session impacted by another front wing failure, although this time it was self-inflicted thanks to whacking the Turn 2 kerbs.

Saturday’s final practice session in Bahrain begins at 15:00 local time (GMT +3).

  Driver   Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:31.001 38
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.241 32
3. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 1.280 32
4. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 1.405 31
5. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 1.451 38
6. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 1.649 26
7. Daniil Kvyat ru Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 1.702 34
8. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 1.791 39
9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 1.869 23
10. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 1.872 36
11. Stoffel Vandoorne be McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 1.998 30
12. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.128 31
13. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 2.176 36
14. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.383 23
15. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 2.405 35
16. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 2.446 34
17. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 2.569 37
18. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 2.639 35
19. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 2.952 21
20. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 3.223 31
21. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 3.476 34
22. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 3.561 33

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Team

The following two tabs change content below.

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.