Lewis Hamilton has finished the second practice session of the first European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan quickest ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who experienced a power unit issue towards the end of the session.

Hamilton’s impressive time of 1:44.223 was over half a second quicker than Rosberg’s best effort on the super soft tyre and a further 1.113 seconds to third place finisher Sergio Pérez in the Force India.

Rosberg was forced to stop out on track with 20 minutes remaining when he reported a drive problem in his Mercedes, this led to the deployment of the Virtual Safety Car for a brief intermission while the marshals removed his car off the track.

Ferrari was also in the wars when it came to technical issues, as Kimi Räikkönen locked up into the Turn 4 escape road when he experienced an MGU-K problem that effected the brake-by-wire system in his Ferrari.

The Finn was running twelfth-fastest at the time and eventually was bumped down to thirteenth, while his teammate Sebastian Vettel didn’t fare much better, finishing in eighth position and almost two seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark. Vettel was ordered by his team at the end of the session to nurse his car back to the pits as Ferrari believed he had the same problem as Räikkönen.

Valtteri Bottas finished higher than usual for an FP2 session – in fourth position – as Williams generally show off their pace on the Saturday; he was one-tenth of a second clear of Nico Hülkenberg who made it two Force Indias in the top five.

Carlos Sainz was the first of the non-Mercedes powered entries in sixth position and finished four-one hundredths of a second ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

McLaren’s Jenson Button sneaked into the top ten in ninth, just ahead of the second Red Bull Racing Daniel Ricciardo.

Button’s teammate Fernando Alonso was eleventh-fastest, but the Spaniard’s session was heavily disrupted as a fuel issue saw him stuck in the garage while the team worked on his car.

Marcus Ericsson was another driver to run into mechanical trouble. He missed the first 35 minutes of FP2 as the Sauber team changed his engine following an exhaust problem during FP1. He managed to register 22 laps with a best time good enough for nineteenth place ahead of Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.

Driver Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:44.223 33
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.690 26
3. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 1.113 37
4. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 1.541 35
5. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 1.697 37
6. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 1.804 35
7. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 1.845 35
8. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 1.996 36
9. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.011 32
10. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 2.070 32
11. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.275 27
12. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.458 29
13. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 2.471 32
14. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 2.521 35
15. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.607 26
16. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 2.837 28
17. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 3.106 38
18. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 3.264 33
19. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 3.549 22
20. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 3.571 35
21. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 3.795 36
22. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 3.858 38

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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