By Steve Aibel, Senior F1 Writer
The tables were upended in the second practice session as the two Ferrari’s took top positions in Shanghai at the Chinese Grand Prix. Mercedes took the next two positions with Lewis Hamilton stating that it looks like the red cars have the advantage. This does not bode well for Hamilton who will also suffer a 5 place grid penalty for changing the gearbox in his Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace with Sebastian Vettel close behind in the second practice session. Raikkonen set his time on the supersoft tires and clocked in just 1 tenth ahead of Vettel. Raikkonen stated that the Ferrari advantage would only be with the supersoft compound and they still needed to increase the feel of the car on the soft and medium compounds. Rosberg was just a further tenth back from Vettel with Hamilton a few tenths behind his Mercedes teammate.
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing took the 5th slot while Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso brought home his car in 6th. Carlos Sainz took the second Toro Rosso to 8th position, splitting the two Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10 in the Williams.
Haas F1 Team had a difficult opening practice day which saw Romain Grosjean blast tire supplier Pirelli for undrivable tire pressures. Jenson Button reiterated the remark stating that the increases in pressure requirements, which are done for safety, are making the cars “float” around the track and reducing the overall level of grip.
Esteban Gutierrez suffered another disappointing session where rear brake issues limited his running again during the session. The Haas effort will have one more practice to balance their cars and improve the feel of the VF-16.
The tire problems seen in the first practice session turned out to be due to set up issues for the Williams of Felipe Massa and a suspension issue for Kevin Magnussen and Renault.
Free Practice 2 Results
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:38.143|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:38.268|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:38.527|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:38.542|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:38.569|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||1:39.178|
|22||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||No Time|