Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace during the second free practice session of the weekend in Brazil, leading home his teammate Rosberg.
Hamilton set a best time of 1:12.271 to lead home teammate Nico Rosberg, who was just 0.030 seconds behind. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas finished the second session in third behind the Mercedes duo with a time of 1:12.761 and ahead of teammate Felipe Massa. Earlier in the session Bottas held the top spot with Massa behind by just 0.028 seconds. The two were unable to hold onto the positions as the Mercedes duo bounced back to the top two spots. Another driver that did hold the top spot was Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo but he later dropped to fifth ahead of teammate Max Verstappen by one tenth of a second.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ended the session in seventh with a lap time of 1:13.002, ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen by 0.045 seconds. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg finished in ninth with a lap time of 1:13.299. The first of the McLaren Honda’s in the hands of Jenson Button had a difficult session after he experienced issues with the car, his session ended after his exhaust overheated forcing him not to be able to complete long runs for the team to record data ahead of the race.
Fernando Alonso finished the session in eleventh behind teammate Button, this being a good finish for him after only being able to complete eighteen laps before he had to retire from the session after suffering problems with the car. The race engineer told Alonso to stop the car, later confirming it was an ERS problem. The officials had to bring out the virtual safety car so that marshals could push Alonso’s car behind the barriers. This was the end of Alonso’s session, whilst the team looked over the car Fernando chose to stay out and watch the track action from fellow competitors.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished in twelfth after having a quiet session, better than his problem filled free practice one session. Teammate Carlos Sainz Jr finished in thirteenth with a lap time of 1:13.689 ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez. This being a disappointing session for Perez after teammate Hulkenberg finished inside the top ten.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean had problems in free practice one and those problems looked to be continuing as he reported to his engineers “something is wrong, very strange at turn one.” He finished the session in fifteenth place with a lap time of 1:14.074. After letting test driver Sergey Sirotkin take to the wheel in free practice one, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen completed his first session of the weekend in sixteenth.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr finished the session in seventeenth ahead of Manor Racing’s Esteban Ocon. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer finished the session in nineteenth. After letting Charles Leclerc take to the wheel of the VF-16 during the first practice session Esteban Gutierrez took to the wheel for free practice two, finishing in twentieth with a best time of 1:14.558. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson finished the session in twenty-first after his car got too hot, he was unable to return to the track after he flat spotted his last set of tyres for the session. Pascal Wehrlein finished the race in twenty-second for the Manor Racing team.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen is under investigation by the stewards after he and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz went wheel to wheel during the early stage of the session, Raikkonen then cut across Sainz before diving into the pit lane.
©Fay Tilley 12th November 2016.