Brazilian GP: Rosberg fights back in FP2, Alonso hits trouble

Nico Rosberg fought back in second Friday practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix, outpacing Lewis Hamilton by nearly half a second.

The Briton, who had been quickest by some margin in the morning, finished 0.458s behind Rosberg, who posted a best time of 1:12.385 during a run with soft tyres.

Pirelli's softer rubber made an early appearance as teams feared the rain would hit the circuit but, apart from a few drops, the track stayed dry throughout.

Sebastian Vettel finished in third place, like he had done in first practice, ahead of Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, with Daniel Ricciardo completing the top five with the updated Renault engine.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas was sixth, ahead of Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Daniil Kvyat and local hero Felipe Massa.

The threat of rain, which hit the track slightly between the end of FP1 and the start of FP2, meant drivers were quick to jump onto the track and start working.

Carlos Sainz set the first time straight away, the Spaniard quickly followed by several drivers who joined him in the timesheets.

Vettel hit the front seven minutes in with the first lap in the 1:14s, still on medium tyres, as the action intensified as rain got closer.

Bottas put Williams on top briefly before Rosberg set the quickest time of the weekend at that point, a 1:13.793.

Hamilton fell just short during his first run, finishing 0.154s behind his teammate, but managed to beat his teammate a couple of laps later with a 1:13.634.

Alonso trouble

Fernando Alonso was the first driver to go out with the soft tyres at the 25-minute mark, but the McLaren driver's session would come to an early finish when he stopped on track after smoke came from the back of his car.

That triggered a red-flag period, but not before Bottas jumped to first place with a run of soft tyres, stopping the clock on a 1:13.

After some 10 minutes of stoppage while Alonso's car was recovered, Rosberg went quickest of all with his first lap on softs, the German setting a new best of 1:12.385 that put him nearly half a second ahead of Hamilton, also running on softs.

After a short period of soft-tyre runs, teams switched their focus to longer runs as the forecast rain stayed away from the circuit.

During that period, the most significant incidents were Max Verstappen and Bottas spinning without any damage to their cars.

The soft tyres reappeared near the end of the session, with Rosberg going for another run. However, a mistake meant the German went off after locking up at Turn 12.

PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:12.385   42
2 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1:12.843 +0.458 39
3 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1:13.345 +0.960 41
4 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1:13.500 +1.115 43
5 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing 1:13.585 +1.200 39
6 Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1:13.603 +1.218 37
7 Romain Grosjean  Lotus F1 Team 1:13.634 +1.249 45
8 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:13.710 +1.325 43
9 Daniil Kvyat  Red Bull Racing 1:13.848 +1.463 40
10 Felipe Massa  Williams 1:13.870 +1.485 42
11 Sergio Perez  Force India 1:14.056 +1.671 34
12 Pastor Maldonado  Lotus F1 Team 1:14.124 +1.739 42
13 Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1:14.134 +1.749 44
14 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:14.226 +1.841 35
15 Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 1:14.326 +1.941 45
16 Jenson Button  McLaren 1:14.644 +2.259 37
17 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1:14.772 +2.387 38
18 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1:15.129 +2.744 10
19 Will Stevens  Manor 1:16.501 +4.116 35
20 Alexander Rossi  Manor 1:16.787 +4.402 35

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Interlagos
Article type Breaking news