At 2000 GMT Second Free Practice got under way, as the teams look to test the Pirelli Soft Tyre along with some high fuel runs. 2.5 seconds separates both the Soft and Medium compound. Thus, FP2 is pivotal regarding gaining data, as the weather is forecasted rain for tomorrow.
The session kicks with two crashes of different kinds. Session One Topper Max Verstappen had a soft crash that brought out the Red Flag and, unfortunately, ended the Dutchman's running. The incident itself was frustrating to watch, as he came out of the Baseball Stadium at low speed, the Toro Rosso lost it's rear and just hit the barrier, destroying the front of the car. The second incident involved Valtteri Bottas, the Williams managing record high-speed and soon as the Finn hit the brakes for Turn 1, they viciously rejected that idea, and the car ploughed off the track.
Nico Rosberg was flying throughout the session, setting the fastest time of 1:21:531, a benchmark that Hamilton was not able to compete with - although on one of his flying laps he did have a bit of traffic. The Briton set Personal Bests in Sector 1; he could not compete with Rosberg's excellence in Sectors two and three, staying 0.430 off his team mate pace.
The ambient temperature meant that teams were struggling with getting heat into the Soft Tyre, specifically Vettel who was on a low-fuel stint. The German told his team that there was no point in pushing for the first lap, due to the tyres' coldness – hinting that the secret of unlocking real pace will lie between the second and third flying laps. Therefore, in tomorrow's Qualifying we could see teams doing two hot laps as they chase for pole position. One team who managed to nail the tyres was Red Bull Racing. The Milton Keynes Squad was able to continue setting faster times on their third laps – something that Mercedes could not do. Daniil Kvyat ending up in 2nd place, only 0.245 seconds of Rosberg's impressive time.
Written by Harry Shovelar
NOV 01 - MEXICO GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE 2
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:21.531|
|2.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:21.776||+0.245|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:21.868||+0.337|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes GP||1:21.961||+0.430|
|11.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:23.290||+1.759|
|13.||Carlos Sainz jr||Toro Rosso||1:23.364||+1.833|
|15.||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:23.597||+2.066|
|18.||Alexander Rossi||Manor F1 Team||1:25.940||+4.409|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor F1 Team||1:26.968||+5.437|
|20.||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||no time|
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing