Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Hamilton recovers to lead second practice

2014 Chinese Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Lewis Hamilton missed the first half hour of second practice but recovered to end the session with the fastest time.

He set a 1’38.315 on soft tyres putting him over a tenth of a second ahead of first practice pace-setter Fernando Alonso. But Hamilton wasn’t happy with the balance of his Mercedes.

Shortly before the end of the 90-minute practice period Hamilton abandoned his race stint run, telling his team: “something’s not right, I’m coming in”.

Team mate Nico Rosberg was third-quickest but had been told to back off by two-tenths of a second in the final sector due to a yellow flag.

This was caused by Pastor Maldonado, who crashed on his way into the pit lane. The Lotus driver understeered wide and hit the barrier near where Hamilton’s race famously came to an end in 2007.

The Red Bull pair were also in the top ten, Daniel Ricciardo ahead of Sebastian Vettel. But like most drivers they found their tyres were graining in the long first corner at the start of the lap in the cool temperatures.

Felipe Massa was sixth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who managed 14 laps in the second session having failed to leave the pits during the first.

The top ten was completed by Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’38.31525
214Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’38.4560.14128
36Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.7260.41130
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’38.8110.49630
51Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’39.0150.70031
619Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’39.1180.80325
77Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’39.2830.96825
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.4911.17629
98Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’39.5371.22236
1026Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’39.6481.33326
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’39.7361.42130
1220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.7441.42929
1325Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’39.7591.44428
1477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’39.8301.51525
1511Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’40.1241.80932
1621Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’40.3592.04432
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’40.3952.08030
1813Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’40.4552.14012
1917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’42.3274.01227
204Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’43.4735.15830
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’43.5305.21532
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’43.6795.36432

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Keith Collantine
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65 comments on “Hamilton recovers to lead second practice”

  1. Matthew Abbott
    18th April 2014, 8:37

    The Ferrari pace seems strong, well at least in Alonso’s hands. Think the race might be tighter than a Mercedes fan would like. That’s not a bad thing though and I do wonder if it practice position really matters that much when there is a very high chance of rain for Qualis and the race.

    1. dont be too overjoyed by the practice timesheet

      1. Matthew Abbott
        18th April 2014, 10:40

        I am overjoyed as I support Mercedes abd it was food to see Ham back at the top ;-) even if practice times don’t mean much and that are likely running a turned down engine and higher fuel. Medium tires looking strong for the race.

        1. Matthew Abbott
          18th April 2014, 10:40

          Bloody Swype

    2. Ferrari’s Friday pace seemed every bit as strong in Malaysia. In fact, they’ve been behind one or both of the Mercs (or even P1) in all of the Friday sessions up until now. So I’d wait at least until Q to say something.

    3. I suspect they were a bit showboating. The truth will come out on Saturday and Sunday, but it would be a major surprise if they caught up already.

    4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      18th April 2014, 13:31

      The gap that Mercedes had in Bahrain will be difficult to recover over the course of the entire season, so any suggestion that they have a gap any less than well north of a second is plain wrong. Ferrari are clearly trying to revive their media presentation, and make the headlines less about a chap who thought that the team principal job offer was an April Fool’s joke and more about an illusion of the F14 T’s potential…

  2. So far it doesn’t look too much like McLaren have really made that step forward they were bringing to the car.
    As for Ferrari suddenly being faster, I doubt that will last into Q3, rather it looks like a bit of showboating on lower fuel.
    Hamilton not on it, at least not being satisfied with his car – interesting, is he under pressure from Rosberg then and trying too hard?

    Interesting to see Ricciardo again being ahead of Vettel. Certainly not what he would have been expecting!

    And it does seem that the engine update helped Lotus on speed at least, although they have a bit of an erroneous part between the fuel tank and the steering wheel.

    1. Haha, I spilled my coffee on keyboard after reading your comment on Lotus’s errorneous part. :))

    2. although they have a bit of an erroneous part between the fuel tank and the steering wheel

      Quote of the day

    3. The Maldonator doesn’t spare anyone . I think by the end of the year we can draw up a long list of his close friends or in other words people whom he is in ‘contact’ with.

    4. Hamilton’s car had a suspension problem in FP1, so to start with it appears that there is something off about the car. He has some pace as evidenced by the top time in FP2, but he clearly feels there is something wrong with the car if he is abandoning the race stint. I read elsewhere that he was complaining of understeer, and this is a big problem at China, as the track really works the front tires hard. If you have understeer in your car, it will destroy the front tires, and you will be massively slow on a race stint.

      I’m sure he will work hard and sort it out. That’s one of the great things about this Hamilton-Rosberg battle. When one is up, the other one finds a way to recover. Fascinating stuff.

      1. Strange thing is how the hell does a car develop problems all of a sudden without even driving the damn thing?? This is beyond incompetence!

  3. Force India’s pace seems worrying. They are slowest of the Mercedes powered cars. If they want to build up on their championship points, then this is the race that they got to do it. The next race is when the upgrade wars begin and FI may fall behind the resources of McLaren and, I guess, Williams.

    1. I feel they are not showing their pace and FI has knack of doing alternative strategy as their cars are kind on tires. So, if they can skip one pit stop it owes a lot in a race like shanghai as the time lost in a pit stop is quite high.

    2. I read somewhere that they have loads of new parts for this weekend so it maybe they’re just trying to make them work. At least I hope that it’s the case as I want them to do well.

    3. They say that it was tire evaluation and long run work. I expect them to be a bit quicker tomorrow and have their usual “one-less-stop” strategy on sunday.

  4. I think that the Williams look better here as they were preparing for China since Malaisya.Personaly I hope for a dry qualy and Massa to do well ;).
    Problems for Hamilton may favor Rosberg?…

  5. Domenicalli might regret his decision.

    1. Do you really think that it was his decision?

    2. Why, because ALO was 1st and 2nd in the FPs ?!?! Come on, he set the fastest time in every GP Weekend so far, Mercedes apart, yet the situation got worse. Only the Quali will tell us more exactly what’s going on with Ferrari in China.

      I bet Domenicalli did not even want to resign ! Who wants to resign from chief position of the world’s most famous racing team ?!?! Nobody. I’m pretty sure he was pushed, indirectly at least, to take that decision. He also seemed quite a sensitive guy, so I think there was some personal pressure he felt for not winning a champ all these years.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th April 2014, 9:01

    I think it may be a combination of Ferrari being pretty handy around this track, and Mercedes not being totally happy with their setup that can contribute to the relative closeness.

    Hopefully the race is competitive!

    1. It won’t

    2. Just remember FP2 in Malaysia…

      Kimi was only 0.035 behind Rosberg. The gap in FP3 was 1.1…

  7. Ferrari pace itțs for good?

  8. The pace of the Ferrari is quite surprising; Fernando looks really on it whether or not they are running low fuel, and as for Kimi, his lack of pace in comparison in FP2 is probably down to his lack of running in FP1.

    Things are looking good for Lotus atleast, with Romain in the Top 10. Hopefully this continues into qualifying and Pastor can keep hi nose(s) out of trouble!

    1. Practice nowdays quite straighforward, you put the fuel in friday morning and never refuel..so lap counts quite obvious that Kimi was heavier without morning run.

  9. Kvyat is impressing me more and more with his pace, I’d call him much better than JEV, and he can serve as a relacement for Ricciardo or Vettel if the chance arises

  10. speaking of domenicalli…where is Martin whitmarsh ??? Haven’t seen him or heard about him since he got fired..i hope he is alive…

    1. they are all “fishing”.

  11. Something fishy going on at Mercedes! Lewis is not one for complaining about a car, how can they get the balance so wrong in a car with all the simulator work? He didn’t look a happy bunny at all in the sky interview. I’m telling you now, Mercedes want Rosberg to win the title and they’ve got that much of an advantage over the others they can afford to have their cake and eat it!!

    1. I was wondering how long it would take the tin-foil-hat-stands to jump on this one. But glad you did – just proofs how ridiculous the RBR conspiracy from the previous years really was.

      1. I suppose rumours that James Allen heard about Mercedes wanting Rosberg to win the title are just people’s imagination??

        There’s no smoke without fire believe you me!

        1. Yes, Mercedes signed Hamilton for Millions of pounds just let Rosberg win…

          1. They never expected to have a car advantage like this at all, now they have they can quite easily let Rosberg win the title because they’ve got no competition.

            Nice little excuse to lower Hamilton’s wages if he can’t beat Rosberg over a season. ;-) I think Lewis is suffering more than just bad luck.

          2. @full-throttle-f1
            Your logic lacks depth.
            If Merc is not dominating they need Lewis’s prowess (hence the millions). But if they are well ahead of the others, and Lewis is the only thing that can stop Nico becoming WDC, then they can afford fix that.

        2. I know at least 1 guy at Mercedes who wants to let Rosberg win – his first name is Nico.
          Even if somebody said that they’d prefer Rosberg to win – no team would actively sabotage a driver – that’s just nuts. And I’m angry with myself to even reply to your initial comment, people like you need to be left alone and not engaged.

          1. Plus his side of the garage. So we can safely say that there are quite a few people in Mercedes who want him to win the WDC. :D

          2. How do you know no team would not sabotage a driver? It’s been done before so get off your high horse!
            Mercedes are so dominant they can pick and choose who wins the title and still have a driver that will comfortably come second.

          3. @tmf42


            And that’s it, that’s your argument.
            At that level of reasoning, I’ve got to be angry with myself to even reply to your comment, people like you need to be left alone and not engaged.

          4. that’s just nuts

            Meant to quote this argument of yours.

          5. @jason12 exactly, it’s a waste of time. People with so wildly different world views can argue all day long they’ll never see eye to eye .

    2. Matthew Abbott
      18th April 2014, 11:21

      I’m a Ham fan but even I know the Lewis loves complaining about his cars when they are not performing. There is no middle ground the car is either really good or really bad.

      1. “I’m a fan”
        I’m amazed at the number of NON-HAM-FANS that love to start their arguments like that.

    3. You have hit the nail on the head there. Sure enough Mercedes did all they could to lure Hamilton to come and drive for them, pay him a great deal of money (him and Alonso being F1s top earners see round-up yesterday) only to then go out and hurt the chances of the team booking another 1-2?

      Yes, very convincing.

      If anything, its rather Hamilton has looked into what Rosberg got right last race, maybe made some setup choices based on that, and finds its not quite right for him. It shows these guys are doing all they can to come out on top in the team, something they would hardly be doing if one of the 2 got preferential treatment.

      1. The car had a fault in first FP1 which ended his session early, as you don’t remove the floor to change setup, this also resulted in Hamilton starting the FP2 late as the car wasn’t ready on time.
        If anything, his setup has nothing to do with Rosberg but rather to do with the car not being fixed properly as there has been a limited amount of time to sort out the handling.
        Mercedes did reveal they had some suspension issue on Hamilton’s car.

  12. Weirdly in tests, Lotus can hardly roll the wheel and now Romain did the maximum laps in FP2.

    1. I have feeling Grosjean might score points this race.

      Well, if he isn’t going to get completely mugged on the DRS-sections, that is.

    2. Same thing with the RBR. They seemed to have huge problems with the reliability, but they had just 1 retirement out of 6 possible. Expected more retirements from RBR, to be honest.

  13. Haha, I mentioned Maldonado after FP1 and here it goes again. Seriously… Go home Maldonado, you’re doing it wrong :)

  14. While it’s just FP1 and 2, but McLaren really surprises me with their lack of performance considering the advantage they have with the engine. Seems their car is even worse than last year’s

    1. It’s the drivers fault, didn’t you know?

      1. Mclaren team personnel were quite talkative last year and the previous, Withmarsh, Lowe, Micheals, Boullier, Neal, etc, but this year, I don’t think I’ve even heard Micheals’ voice.

  15. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
    18th April 2014, 11:09

    Well, the pace is not *that* suprising. Ferrari came after all with a lot of upgrades to the track, didn’t they?

    1. Hope that’s it. Did not pay attention to their upgrades program, is there anything else they improved besides the front wing ?

  16. Not going to get carried away with Ferrari just yet. They seemed quite good in Bahrain practice only to be miles off the pace in the race.

  17. Personally I am not buying it…. There is no way the F14-T has made it back in 1 race time! I suspect they will be on 4th or 5th row ofthe grid… Sad but true.
    Although it does make me a bit happy, it´s on saturday and sunday that i want to see these results.

    1. Yeah it would be quite surprising if Ferrari was one race away from a big improvement and yet SD resigned. I suspect like many that this practice time will not translate on Saturday and Sunday, unless they somehow suit this particular track and do well but not sustainably so for the next races. When KR is asked what is wrong with the car and he says ‘everything’ it doesn’t give a person a warm fuzzy about their prospects for the season.

  18. So sick and tired of hearing Rosberg whining about Bahrain race in the press, over the radio or calling out Mercedes in public… That’s why Alonso, Vettel and Lewis are so much better than most of the pack, they’ve got balls to go for crazy moves and win! That’s why they’re WDCs right now!

    1. Firstly, NR is not whining about anything.

      Secondly, if what you call NR’s remarks whining then all 3 drivers you have mentioned have been far more guilty than that.

      Thirdly, it is rather odd to compare one driver for his remarks, to 3 drivers for their ‘crazy moves.’

    2. What does Rosberg mean by “Clear the air talks”?
      Lewis looked absolutely happy winning the last race, I don’t think he can hold any grudge.

  19. Bianchi over a second faster than the Caterhams.

    1. and 2 seconds behind the midfield…

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