Ferrari outpace Mercedes in Chinese Grand Prix FP2

F1i 18:01 15/04/2016
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Raikkonen set the pace.

After Nico Rosberg was fastest in the opening session, Ferrari hit back on the supersoft compound tyre in the afternoon. Track evolution may have played a part as the Ferraris were two of the last cars to run on supersofts and Sebastian Vettel duly went quickest by 0.1s before team-mate Raikkonen beat him by the same margin courtesy of a 1:36.896.

Rosberg best lap was 1:37.133 and he was again faster than Hamilton, with the two Mercedes drivers separated by 0.196s. Hamilton struggled with his car in low speed corners during the morning session – spinning twice – and again went off at Turn 6 in FP2 before also running wide at the Turn 14 hairpin after locking up.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull but over 1.2s adrift of Raikkonen’s best time, with Max Verstappen in sixth place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas.

Fernando Alonso was cleared to take part in the rest of the race weekend following FP1 and he set the 11th fastest time in the second session, exactly 0.1s quicker than team-mate Jenson Button.

One of the main focuses of the session involved the life of the supersoft tyre, with teams eager to work out how long they will be able to run at the start of the race on the softest compound if track conditions are similar. This weekend is the first time the supersoft has been used in China.

Only Manor and Sauber opted not to run the supersoft, setting their best times on the soft compound.

While the majority of drivers worked on set-ups, Kevin Magnussen did not take part in the session as Renault continued to investigate the cause of his left rear suspension failure during FP1. Pirelli had already ruled out any tyre failures being the cause of trouble for both Magnussen and Felipe Massa.

Another driver to hit problems was Esteban Gutierrez, with the Haas driver’s woeful run of luck continuing. Having failed to set a time in the first session due to an electrical issue, a brake problem limited Gutierrez to just four laps in FP2.

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