As expected, Nico Rosberg turned the fastest lap in the 2nd practice session for the Spanish GP Friday afternoon in Barcelona.
After sandbagging in the morning session on harder tires, Rosberg put up a lap of 1m23.922s to top the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen who was 2nd at 1m24.176s.
Vettel's fast time in the morning session of 1m23.951s means the Ferrari lap time on the same soft tires were within 0.03 sec of the Mercedes. Does Ferrari have a chance this weekend or were Mercedes running heavier fuel loads? We'll find out Saturday afternoon when qualifying finishes.
Local hero Carlos Sainz was the Red Bull stable’s lead driver, the Toro Rosso star taking fifth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, whose new Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen finished eighth. The man he replaced – Daniil Kvyat – was 15th in the sister Toro Rosso.
Fernando Alonso made it two Spaniards in the top ten with a highly encouraging seventh place for McLaren, as the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten.
Jolyon Palmer lost significant track time after the left-rear tire on his Renault deflated ten minutes into the session. Running was red-flagged for eight minutes as marshals cleared debris, but the Briton was later able to resume his program.
It's great to be back in Europe and to be back in Spain. It was a good start for us today with two good practice sessions. Times were looking good on the longer and also on the shorter stints. I feel very comfortable with the car with some new parts added and they seemed to have worked well. Ferrari also look very strong around this circuit so I'm looking forward to Saturday's third practice session as well as qualifying and to seeing how we can perform out there.
That wasn't an easy day for me, I struggled with the car balance through the day and this afternoon in particular it felt really tricky to drive. I had traffic on my quick lap, so the lap times don't tell the full story, but it's clear we have plenty of work to do this evening to get the car driving like I want it to. But we will get our heads down this evening, work through the data and I'm confident we can pull things around for tomorrow.
|5||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:25.131||+1.209s||39|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:25.194||+1.272s||37|
|8||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:25.375||+1.453s||31|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:25.437||+1.515s||32|
|10||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:25.453||+1.531s||35|
|15||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:26.375||+2.453s||44|