Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

Mercedes comfortably ahead in second practice

2014 Spanish Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Lewis Hamilton stayed on top in the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The two Mercedes drivers headed the times while sunny conditions pushed track temperatures up into the high forties. But Nico Rosberg was over four-tenths of a second slower than Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only driver from Mercedes’ rivals to get within a second of their fastest time. The sister car belonging to Sebastian Vettel did not appear as the team had to replace a wiring loom following his problem in the first practice session.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo watched over his team as their drivers ended the session inside the top five, albeit over a second and a half slower than the flying W05s.

They were followed by three Mercedes-powered cars: the two McLaren drivers and the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Pastor Maldonado underlined Lotus’s continual improvement with the ninth-fastest time. His session came to an early end due to a gearbox problem.

His team mate had a trouble-filled 90 minutes. Romain Grosjean complained of a handling imbalance at the rear of his car earlier in the session, then came to a halt at the pit lane exit when the team discovered a problem with his car. His practice period eventually ended shortly before the chequered flag due to a worsening brake problem.

Two other drivers hit trouble minutes before the end. Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso shed its right-rear wheel in turn two, forcing him to come to a stop.

Finally Max Chilton went off at turn four moments before the chequered flag appeared, the Marussia driver admitting he simply made a mistake.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’25.52433
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’25.9730.44936
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’26.5090.98538
414Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’27.1211.59733
57Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’27.2961.77233
620Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.7882.26437
722Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.8112.28729
819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’27.8242.30031
913Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’27.8662.34242
1026Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’28.0492.52535
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’28.0742.55031
1225Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’28.2462.72230
1399Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’28.2842.76033
1477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’28.6983.17433
1521Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’29.1053.58124
1611Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’29.1293.60534
178Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’29.4933.96926
1817Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’29.9914.46726
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’31.1485.62428
2010Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’31.3385.81438
219Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’31.5866.06239
221Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultNo time0

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “Mercedes comfortably ahead in second practice”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    9th May 2014, 14:38

    So Hamilton will win all the races? And people were bored when Vettel did it. Now he’s Lewis – all is ok right?

    But seriously though, if Lewis ever gets a problem in the car, there will be Nico to win for Mercedes anyway. Congrats to the team for doing things right.

    1. Not for me. The initial novelty value of Vettel not crushing the rest is already wearing thin, as Hamilton is basically doing a Vettel this year.

    2. This domination is just going to make that first non Mercedes victory an absolute cracker! I say keep the suspense building a little longer

    3. Yeah, I think that it is not a question of will Hamilton win the title, it is how soon will he wraps things up. If he keeps going like this, not even with double points will the title go until the last race!

      Credits to Mercedes for making the best car this year. And I agree, we went from Vettel winning the races to Hamilton dominating. (If you look at Bahrain, the better of the races so far, Hamilton had a very good lead until the safety car came…).

      1. Rosberg is leading the championship.

        If Hamilton wins, Rosberg second there will be only three points in it.

        Lighten up folks, we’re in the territory where random events like reliability & luck could swing it, and that makes for championship interest. So I think complaining about Mercedes dominance is reasonable, but complaining
        about Hamilton dominance is premature.

    4. Don’t forget the double points’ race. That could change a lot of things plus it’s early days. From what I can see Riccardo also has a lot to offer and is, silently screaming, I am coming for you…

      1. Don’t remind us about double points. The record books would be marked with asterisks and footnotes should such an abomination come to pass as the title being decided by “double points” for a race of standard length. As for Danny, I don’t think Lewis and Nico can hear his screaming too well from a mile up the road. (But that guy is the real deal and I hope to see him fighting for wins sometime.)

        1. @dmw @matt90
          Whether we like it or not the double points are here to stay (for at least this season). Redbull will surely come up with a response and I can only imagine Riccardo do even better on an improved Redbull. I know the gap between Redbull and Mercedes is far too big for a short term Redbull response but an improved Redbull will interfere with the Mercedes rivalry and add more excitement towards middle to end of the championship. Existing, right?! ;)

      2. Well exactly. Presuming the present form and situation – presuming a lot, obviously – Hamilton could have a lead equivalent to seven 1st places to seven Rosberg 2nd places, 49 points, and still lose the championship with one DNF in the final race.

        All the more motivation for Hamilton to try to wrap up everything as early as possible, then?

      3. Don’t forget the double points’ race.

        Please, can we?

    5. Give it time and people will be bored anyway.
      At least it’s not expected to see Mercedes so well ahead on the next years, as their main strenght, the straight line speed, will be reduced with time.

    6. There has been plenty of moaning about Merc domination. It started after the first race pretty much.

    7. This season is Mercs to lose and they did an outstanding job. imo, they are way ahead of the rest, even more than RBR ever was, it reminds me a bit of Ferrari’s 2002.

  2. Explain the layman that there is more than six seconds separating the front runner and slowest of the pack in the pinnacle of motorsport. Bizarre.

    1. The explanation is that the teams design and build their own cars. So some people got it wrong. That is to be expected. What’s actually amazing is that different teams, acting independently, arrive at different designs, but several of them are within a couple seconds over a 90 second lap. That shows that the designers and cars are by and large technical masterpieces that have achieved close to the maximum performance under a set formula. That says “pinnacle” to me.

      1. What’s actually amazing is that different teams, acting independently, arrive at different designs, but several of them are within a couple seconds over a 90 second lap. That shows that the designers and cars are by and large technical masterpieces that have achieved close to the maximum performance under a set formula. That says “pinnacle” to me.

        Exactly! This is one of the things that I always used to find the most amazing and mindblowing about F1.

      2. Great.

    2. F1 is not a sport for layman, and the less we try to dumb it down for those who don’t even wanna try to comprehend it, the better.

      1. Amen to that. Want some dumbing downs? Go watch WWE.

    3. Fastest free practice 2 in 2013 was 1:22.8. So this year they’re slower by 2.7 sec. ±. I find THAT disappointing.

      1. Agreed. Less down force and the difference in tire behaviour this was to be expected.

      2. You must be easy to disappoint, heavier cars, less downforce, harder tyres (thankyou Pirelli) designed to use 1/3rd less fuel and only 4 races into the formula.

    4. Is there a non-stock form of motorsport which is different?

  3. Geeez,

    those time differencies are just scary..
    And I can not believe it is all down to the mercedes engine. It seems, that the Mercedes team has a really well working aerodynamic package too..

    But.. that is worlds between them and the competition..

    Hope it will get closer soon

  4. I’m just afraid that Mercedes can’t be cought this season. When team dominates but is a couple of tenths faster, it’s not very bad, because if it makes a mistake, other may capitalise on it. But this season Mercedes dominates in unbeatable fashion. And that’s scary, because this season may be dead. Mercedes are better at every area.

    And I don’t see any improvement from Renault engines. I looked at the speed traps from first session and RBR were at the bottom of the table, just as usual. Other Renaul teams weren’t any better either.

    1. @osvaldes31 what was the difference in speed between the Mercedes and the Red Bull?

      1. @timothykatz About 18 kph. Shocking!

    2. It may be right, but I’m glad to see a change of who’s dominating the sport. If Mercedes continue this domination then I’ll looking forward to seeing some incredible records being set; 100% of wins in a season? Hamilton setting a new win streak length?

      1. Rosberg is probably too good to let Hamilton get 10 straight wins.

    3. Monza, MCMLXXXVIII.

  5. Mercedes should not worry about tyre wear. Just turn the engine up to let’s say 90% and create a gap to make an extra stop, it’s not like they could not do that.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      9th May 2014, 15:35

      If the tyres were a complete non-issue then I wouldn’t put it past them for both of them to lap the entire field.

    2. @ardenflo I would agree except that there is another incentive to avoid pit stops – more chance for the team to make a mistake, more chance for a wheel gun to fail, more chance for a bum wheel nut. All potentially ways to throw away victory.

  6. If I was Caterham’s team boss, I’d loan a car from one of GP2 teams.

    1. brilliant

    2. Man, the majority of these times are really slow. I know it’s practice but still.
      Fastest lap GP2 practice today: 1:30.448

    3. GP2 qualifying time in 2013 was 1:28.706, which would be 15th in F1 free practice 2. Pretty grim when an F1 car is 2.88 seconds SLOWER than a GP2 car.

      1. GP2 cars run to completely different regulations than F1.

        1. I am well aware of that, of course. My point is that a lesser support series has cars running (in qualifying, admittedly) faster than EIGHT (almost nine) of the cars in the ‘pinnacle’ of motorsport and almost 3 seconds faster than the slowest car. I know the cars will get quicker tomorrow but still……………it’s almost like a FF was faster than an F3 car.

          1. Agree. I think if the new formula was quicker (at around last years pace), there would not be so much fuzz about the sport.
            Now the majority of the people (not the fanatics) do not understand the whole picture and therefore disagree with the new rules like fuel saving, less grip, no more V8 etc.
            Personally I find the new formula more and more interesting, but these slow laptimes of the majority of the teams disturbing. Teams predicted paces would be more or less the same (as 2013) at the end of the season. I really do not see that happening.

  7. If this track is high fuel consumption as they say, then I can see works Mercedes and Williams both doing well here. I envision Massa battling it out for a podium.

  8. Speaking of Luca, NBCSports showed him standing over Kimi’s car as Kimi prepared to go out, glowering and fidgeting. As Kimi’s monitor was removed, Luca leaned over and shook his clenched fist in front of Kimi’s visor. It wasn’t an angry gesture as such, but it was a clear signal to Kimi—eyes are on you, son. It must but a terrible working environment when the boss just got sacked and the CEO is stalking the garage looking to see who is next. Judging by the timesheets, Luca’s malocchio will soon fix on another victim. Solid second-tier is not going to thrill him. At least it seems Kimi is on terms with Alonso somewhat.

    1. I dunno… it looked more like a “go get ’em” fist shake to me… plus, Kimi is probably the most nonchalant person in the paddock, & when the car isn’t to his liking, he always takes a while to get it “just so”, regardless of the looming & semantics, & I’d say this week he’s definitely closed the gap. I doubt it bothers him too much that LDM is on the warpath: he’s done the Ferrari dance before.

    2. @dmw Not sure if you are being sarcastically funny. In the off chance that you are not, i would like to support Luca. If anything he is going to show Kimi more support than usual.

      The fact of the matter is Merc is way ahead of every other team. I am sure Luca is under no illusion that Kimi can close this kind of performance gap. Even Alonso does not stand a chance at closing this gap.

    3. You should probably do less internet socializing and more real-life socializing, because you don’t recognize the basic “go, get ’em” gesture with the fist. It’s a gesture of support. Pretty clear one.

      1. I’m sorry, but isn’t any “go get ’em” gesture a show of support/encouragement? Stupid comment… smh

      2. Wait… I think I totally misread your comment… I hate when the replies get stretched out on my phone. Harder to follow. Sorry about that if I did.

  9. The speed trap numbers are immense. Not that far off from Monza last year, can’t wait to see what will they be able to do there this year.

  10. So based on the long runs here is what I got out of it. Hamilton going strongest but Ricciardo going longest! I may be wrong but at least what I noticed watching from TV was that everyone did the long runs with the softer compound which will be the preferred tyre for this race so it will be pretty interesting to see what they do with the harder compound and at what stage of the race. Anyway back to the long runs so it looks like Merc are the fastest again atleast in Hamiltons hands, but Ricciardo is not too far behind. (well yeah we don´t know the amount of fuel each car had but I don´t think too much difference can be found there when doing race simulations). Ricciardo might actually be able to go longer than anyone come Sunday so possibly one less stop than most? Well that’s a big IF, because normally the harder compound this year has been the race tyre which doesn’t look to be the case this weekend. Also interestingly Kimis times compared to Alonso slightly better in the long runs so will be interesting to see if Kimi will finally get the setup right this weekend. Looking forward to seeing the complete longest stint comparisons from Keith

  11. Imagine if Lewis dominated Nico for most of the season, 49 points ahead in Abu Dhabi, then a DNF from technical issues gives Nico the win and the title? Not sure I’d be able to control my rage X)

    1. I would still consider Lewis the winner of the championship and the better driver between the two. I’d expect Nico to come out and say the same, making a mockery of points system leading to double points being dropped for next year. Everyone wins, except for a trophyless Lewis.

  12. non-related,just read on BBCf1 (Hamilton’s article) he has moved from his old home (no longer in the same apartment with Rosberg) talk about “friendly ties”

  13. It’s quite possible that Ferrari have made the biggest gains coming out of the pre-Euro season break. It could be interesting this weekend so I’ll definitely be watching Alonso and Kimi. Red Bull’s move to gather data and test Vettel in an old chassis just backfired on them completely. Ouch.

  14. Now, if anyone still had any doubt about it, we know this W05 is really a great package overal, not just an average car with the best engine.

    Williams and Mclaren, who should enjoy the same advantage on the straights, just can’t keep up with Ferrari and Red Bull.

    Now i strongly believe the championship is over for the other teams. The car is that good.

  15. Lotus looks to have improved leaps and bounds, at least with Maldonado… hope they can get some points today

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