Nico Rosberg set the pace in an incident-packed second free practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Friday, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen taking the second-fastest time ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg lapped Silverstone in 1m34.155s on the medium-compound tyre, ahead of the two Ferraris, as many drivers suffered a lack of rear-end grip and struggled to make the mediums last for an entire lap due to its long, high-speed sweeping turns.
Hamilton appeared to struggle both for one-lap pace and with his handling on his long run, and ended the session down in fourth for his home grand prix.
Story of the session
After his hydraulic problems in FP1, Rosberg complained of a “poor upshift” from the start of the session. He nonetheless set the early pace on the hard tyre of 1m35.513s, but was quickly eclipsed by Hamilton by almost half a second on 1m35.055s.
After a cool-down lap, Rosberg improved to 1m35.229s and Hamilton to 1m34.877s.
Kvyat broke up the Mercedes monopoly at the time of the times, setting a second-fastest 1m35.009s, just 0.132s off Hamilton’s fastest time.
Rosberg was the first frontrunner to use the medium-compound tyre, slamming in a 1m34.155s, 0.367s up on Vettel – the latter admitting that he almost “lost the car” at Copse corner.
Hamilton only managed a 1m34.621s at his first attempt, and complained “the car’s not in a good slot.” He made plenty of practice starts during this session, following his poor getaway in Austria.
Raikkonen set his second-fastest time with half an hour remaining, and appeared able to manage his tyres to ensure they lasted for an entire lap. His time was 0.347s away from Rosberg’s benchmark.
Rosberg also ran into some overheating issues on his long run towards the end of the session.
Hamilton, meanwhile, reported his car was “all over the place” on his long run. His laptimes were not as fast at Rosberg's.
Kvyat's early medium-tyred time was good for fifth, ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Max Verstappen was seventh fastest for Toro Rosso, and showed some great long-run pace, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in the revamped Force India.
Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) and Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10.
Cars in the gravel
The session was red-flagged just before the 20-minute mark when Grosjean beached his Lotus at Luffield, and was unable to extricate himself. "Something went wrong at the rear," he complained.
After helping his crew clean up his car, Grosjean rejoined to set the 14th-quickest time.
A second red flag was called just as the man who caused it, Roberto Merhi, managed to find reverse on his Manor and drive away from a spin, again at Luffield.
It was another troubled session for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso also going off at Luffield but was able to drive out of the deep gravel, rally-style.
Alonso had another big moment later at Stowe, and he was 14th fastest.
Button complained of a lack of rear-end instability, and ended the session in 17th.
|05||D. Kvyat||Red Bull||1:35.009||+0.854||24|
|06||D. Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:35.153||+0.998||21|
|07||M. Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:35.300||+1.145||35|
|08||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||1:35.387||+1.232||33|
|09||C. Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:35.866||+1.711||37|
|13||S. Perez||Force India||1:36.351||+2.196||28|