Mercedes AMG Petronas finished the second free practice session at Silverstone on top of the timing screens but his teammate Nico Rosberg sat out due to mechanical issues with his W07 Hybrid. Hamilton continued to show his strong performance around his home circuit at Silverstone by setting the pace during the session. The reigning World Champion showed dominating form, setting a fastest lap time of 1:31.660 to place himself on top of the times. He was the only driver to dip into the 1:32 lap times during the scheduled ninety-minute session.
It was a very different story for his teammate Nico Rosbergo, who was unable to leave the garage during the session as the team mechanics removed the floor of the car twice as they tried to investigate the suspected fuel system issue with the car.
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was next on the screens in second with just 0.391 seconds separating him from Hamilton. The Australian was called into the pit lane by the team before being able to do a practice start after the session and was warned not to change gear on his RB12 car. Max Verstappen proved the pace the Red Bull cars have by setting the third fastest lap time. Next up were the Scuderia Ferrari pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and fifth. Fernando Alonso finished in a strong sixth place in his McLaren-Honda car, the team are running an upgraded power unit in the cars for the first time this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas was the highest placed Williams Martini Racing cars in seventh place, just 1.833 seconds behind Hamilton. Romain Grosjean finished ninth for the Haas F1 team but was 0.121 seconds behind Bottas. Jenson Button backed out on one of his fastest laps at the final corner before slowing down around the circuit to be able to head into the pit lane with a throttle issue on his McLaren. He ended the session in ninth place. The Williams of Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten despite ending his session with more than ten minutes remaining, when he pitted there were instantly mechanics looking over his car.
Carlos Sainz Jr narrowly missed out on finishing inside the top ten in the first of the Scuderia Toro Rosso entries. He was more than two seconds off the usual pace with Esteban Guttierrez finishing the session in twelfth for the Haas team. Next up was Daniil Kvyat in thirteenth, despite suffering a big spin at the final turn early on in the session, which caused his front wing to break. The Russian was heard on the teams radio complaining that the STR11 was ‘hard to drive’. Sauber’s Felipe Nasr was fourteenth on the timing screens, outpacing both the Sahara Force India drivers, Niko Hulkenberg finished ahead of Sergio Perez. Pascal Wehrlein finished the session in seventeenth for Manor Racing. Renault Sport F1’s Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen finished in eighteenth and twentieth with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in nineteenth. Rio Haryanto was the last driver to set a lap time, finishing in twenty-first ahead of non-runner Rosberg.
© Fay Tilley 9th July 2016.