Mercedes is once again the team to beat this weekend in Germany.
Lewis Hamilton narrowly outpaced Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to take top spot in the second free practice for the German Grand Prix as track temperatures soared as high as 58 degrees Celsius at sweltering Hockenheim. Hamilton ended the session just two hundredths of a second ahead of Rosberg.
Daniel Ricciardo was third, just a tenth of a second behind Hamilton’s best time of 1:18.341, set on supersoft tyres. The Red Bull Racing driver set competitive times against the Mercedes drivers on both tyres and also on both short and long runs suggesting that here in Hockenheim, where the cars are for the first time running without the front-to-rear interconnected suspension systems, the agile RB10 might be a step closer to the dominant Mercedes W05 Hybrid.
Rosberg had run fastest in the morning session, beating Hamilton to top spot by just six hundredths of a second. It was a similar story in the afternoon on the supersoft tyres, but on the soft compound Rosberg was marginally faster, eclipsing Hamilton by three tenths of a second. Hamilton’s best time in the afternoon came on the option supersoft tyre.
In the morning session Ricciardo had finished fourth behind Fernando Alonso and half a second off Rosberg, but the Australian closed the gap in the afternoon.
Behind him, Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth for Ferrari, improving on his eighth place in the morning. Team-mate Alonso, though, went backwards in the afternoon.
In FP1 the Spaniard was just three tenths off the pace of Rosberg but in the second session his best lap saw him finish almost a full second adrift of Hamilton and down in ninth place.
After finishing fifth and seventh respectively in the morning session, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen swapped places in the afternoon. Magnussen continued to make progress and claimed P5 by the end of running but Button failed to find the looked for improvement on the supersoft and finished seventh, behind Williams Felipe Massa. The Brazilian’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, took the final top-10 place.
It was a difficult afternoon for Caterham as both cars stopped on track. Kamui Kobayashi stopped after just 12 laps with flames pouring from the back of his car, while Marcus Ericsson stopped with an oil pressure problem after just three laps. The team managed to eventually get Ericsson going again in the final half hour of the session.
2014 German Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.341s 38
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m18.365s +0.024s 39
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m18.443s +0.102s 35
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.887s +0.546s 38
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m18.960s +0.619s 40
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1m19.024s +0.683s 36
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1m19.221s +0.880s 40
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m19.248s +0.907s 35
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m19.329s +0.988s 32
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m19.385s +1.044s 34
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m19.417s +1.076s 41
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m19.452s +1.111s 27
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1m19.581s +1.240s 28
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m19.593s +1.252s 32
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m19.760s +1.419s 32
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m20.158s +1.817s 35
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m20.358s +2.017s 35
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m20.504s +2.163s 40
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m21.328s +2.987s 31
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m21.870s +3.529s 21
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1m21.898s +3.557s 28
22 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m23.728s +5.387s 12
FIA Formula One