Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015

Hamilton holds reduced lead in second practice

2015 Chinese Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015Lewis Hamilton headed both of Friday’s practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix, but Mercedes’ margin was reduced in the afternoon running.

Having enjoyed a comfortable margin of more than a second when using the medium tyres in first practice, Mercedes’ lead was reduced to less than half a second when teams ran the soft tyre. Hamilton’s best effort was a 1’37.219 – over a second quicker than he managed in the same session last year – but Kimi Raikkonen got closest to that with a 1’37.662.

Most drivers had completed their performance runs on the soft tyres when Felipe Massa lost control of his Williams under braking at turn 14. He nudged the barrier with his front wing and the session was red-flagged while the Williams was collected.

After practice resumed Daniel Ricciardo did his first time on soft tyres and went third fastest, though the Red Bull driver was more than a second adrift.

However his team mate experienced more of the braking problems which blighted the team’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Daniil Kvyat’s left-rear brake began smoking after a pit stop, and after a slow tour of the track he skidded off at turn 14 and damaged the front of his car.

Behind Kvyat in sixth place Williams, Sauber, Lotus and McLaren each got one of their cars in the top ten – Jenson Button lapping two seconds off the Mercedes pace in his MP4-30.

The session was not disrupted by the surprising appearance of a person running across the main straight. The figure ran towards the pit wall as cars were passing by.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’37.21932
27Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’37.6620.44335
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’38.3111.09224
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’38.3391.12030
56Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.3991.18035
626Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’38.7371.51810
777Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’38.8501.63127
812Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’39.0321.81326
98Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’39.1421.92332
1022Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’39.2752.05629
1113Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’39.4442.22530
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’39.7432.52427
139Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’39.7512.53233
1433Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’39.8942.67532
1555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’39.9712.75228
1627Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’40.1512.93228
1719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’40.4233.2047
1811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’40.8683.64924
1998Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’42.9735.75427
2028Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’44.5647.3458

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Keith Collantine
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61 comments on “Hamilton holds reduced lead in second practice”

  1. Wow what a practice session. That was actually very entertaining! Who would of thought

  2. It’s on between Mercedes and Ferrari!

  3. The pace of the Ferrari on mediums looked very competative, could make for an interesting battle on sunday.

  4. The McLaren actually looks like it improved alot once again

  5. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
    10th April 2015, 8:40

    Ferrari on the long runs looked VERY good.

    On another note it’s baffling why Kvyat didn’t drive down the straight at 60kph knowing he had a brake issue. As said in commentary I think the stewards will also want to know.

  6. What’s this about a fan getting on the track? Madness!

    1. That may be Bernie’s idea , for making the FPs more entertaining(only for hoim).

    2. @f1bobby he got the wrong idea when they said to ‘join in on the action’.

    3. The on-site reporter for the American feed got word that the fan supposedly breached the pit area to try to actually get into a car.

      1. He got the Formula E concept of ‘fan boost’ wrong.

      2. Was it perhaps a certain Mr Van Der Garde?

      3. He was headed for the Mercedes garage. At least he knew which car to go for.

    4. Shanghai Noon
      10th April 2015, 8:57

      That’s just how you cross the street in China, with reckless abandon.

    5. Don’t you just hate it when you need to cross the road but the lights are stuck on green?

    6. Probably holds a valid licence to drive for Farce India

    7. @royalz

      That may be Bernie’s idea

      You’re spot on. Bernie wants Mercedes to stop “killing F1”, so he thought back to the 2000 German Grand Prix, where an ex-Mercedes employee brought out a safety car, which stopped a Mercedes engined car from winning the race.

      @stigsemperfi @f1bobby @evered7 @alonsowdc @motor @synapseza

  7. That top ten is looking very crowded.

    Didn’t Alonso once claim he brought 6 tenths? So McLaren could be 6th once he does his real lap!

    1. @philipgb, Alonso also once claimed he would end his F1 career at Ferrari ;)

      1. @me4me : Then why is he saying that he would end his career at McLaren. You might have mis-heard. Any source to back up your statement?

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          10th April 2015, 10:45

          Foosa – I think you might have missed the “;)” in @me4me‘s comment.

          1. Oh, i failed to see the wink…
            Hmm.. Alonso “wanted” to end his career at Ferrari, but as we know, want don’t get…
            Interestingly, the jacket Alonso is wearing in the picture, eerily resembles his current McLaren team colors…

  8. LOL At Rosberg and Raikkonen. Also, Hamilton and Vettel: “I have to back off because he’s making mistakes”. But, that fan. Wonder how did the marshalls and security reacted to that..

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      10th April 2015, 9:23

      Slowly, evidently.

    2. @krichelle

      I didn’t see FP2. Why the LOL and what was the “he’s making mistakes” comment about?

      1. Vettel said something to the effect of, “He is making mistakes, I have to back off or I’ll hit him,” when he was following Hamilton towards the end of FP2

  9. So these are the long run stints of both Mercedes and Ferrari Drivers

    Hamilton (softs)
    1:42.328 1:42.481 1:42.259 1:42.259 1:42.404 1:42.459 1:42.421 1:42.841 1:43.390 1:49.099** 1:43.646 1:45.985 1:47.145 1:47.355

    ** he ran wide at a turn thats why this slow lap.

    His average laptime was 1:42.731 in 10 laps (ignoring laps after last 1:43 lap and ** lap)

    Vettel (softs)
    1:42.748 1:43.161 1:48.566 1:43.590 1:43.021 1:43.199 1:43.143 1:43.467 1:47.406 1:43.335 1:43.523 1:48.495** 1:44.323 1:44.118

    ** he let lewis past him and slowed down
    His average lap times comes at 1:43.420 in 11 laps (ignoring slow laps in between)

    Mercedes having clear edge on soft tyres over Ferrari. But intresting thing is Ferrari’s pace and consistency on Medium tyres.

    Rosberg (Medium tyres)
    1:43.191 1:43.123 1:43.865 1:43.702 1:43.602 1:43.580 1:43.310 1:43.405 1:43.297 1:43.476 1:43.563 1:43.992 1:43.927

    Average laptime comes at 1:43.591 in 13 laps

    Raikkonen( Mediums)
    1:43.094 1:42.822 1:43.450 1:43.289 1:43.217 1:43.349 1:44.008 1:44.018 1:43.734 1:43.391 1:43.567 1:43.841 1:44.521 1:43.787 1:43.873 1:43.605 1:43.971 1:43.734 1:43.782

    His average laptime comes at 1:43.687 at 19 laps.

    Although a tenth slower than Rosberg’s time but he continued longer and lap times were very similar in the whole stint.

    If one of the Ferrari can lengthen its early Softs stint by few laps , we might see Mercs being seperated by a Ferrari driver. My bet is on Kimi.

    1. Hamilton (softs)
      1:42.328 1:42.481 1:42.259 1:42.259 1:42.404 1:42.459 1:42.421 1:42.841 1:43.390 1:49.099** 1:43.646 1:45.985 1:47.145 1:47.355
      ** he ran wide at a turn thats why this slow lap.
      His average laptime was 1:42.731 in 10 laps (ignoring laps after last 1:43 lap and ** lap)

      I’m only awake for 10 minutes and didn’t watch the session but can’t that just be dramatic reaching the edge of tyrelife?

      1. Where do you guys get all this data???? Is that F1 access??

      2. @xtwl indeed Hamilton overdid his run on softs so as to get an idea about the length of his stint before the first pit stop in race.

        @krichelle, I have downloaded f1 app on android and have paid for season pass, that’s how I got this info.

    2. I’d say with the performance on the prime they could under-cut the Mercs in the first stop. Seems like Ferrari has a tad more flexibility with stint lengths and that could make Sunday really interesting.

    3. Thanks for the stats @mjf1fan

      Impressive stuff from Kimi. It’s obvious that Ferrari are down on long run pace by 0.6-0.7s a lap on softs, and a little lesser on the mediums. But if they can do one pit stop lesser than Mercedes, it might be a really interesting race.

      Lets take an average of 0.5s a lap pace advantage of Mercedes and multiply it by the 56 laps -> 28 secs ahead. Now lets take the advantage of doing one pit stop less -> 22-23 secs.

      There could be a really tight battle at the front, which could even tighter if there is a safety car period which could negate Mercedes’ lead over Ferrari.

      Something tells me Rosberg will finish P3, and one of the Ferraris will split them. Hopefully, it will be Kimi

      1. @todfod, Even I think a Ferrari will be separating Mercedes this weekend and I also hope it would be Kimi. He is showing impressive performance in these practice sessions and much more comfortable in the car then Vettel.

        Although I feel if Ferrari opts for 1 less stop than Mercedes, they might be very vulnerable in the end. I think it was Kimi in 2012/2013 when he did one less stop than rest of field and dropped many places in last few laps.

        What I found interesting was that Ferrari weren’t quicker in any sector of Chinese gp whereas in Malaysia,they were quicker in s1 and s3. So unless something happens to Mercs, Ferrari can’t win.

      2. I’d take Vettel times with a grain of salt to be onest. He was running a totally different setup from Kimi’s (much less downforce if you look at the different V Max) to make comparisons and at the end of the session he made it clear that he wasn’t happy with it. I think he can do better than what he actually did.

    4. Thanks bud. How do you reach this page from the home page of FIA?

      1. @nuvolari71

        Sports –> F1–>Chinese GP Event Info. You land on the page mentioned in the above link.

    5. Thank you for this data and analysis. My only reservation is the unknown fuel load. I don’t think that Ferrari was under-fueled but Mercs might be sand-bagging by running a bit heavier. We shall be wiser on Sunday :)

  10. Imho Vettel was trying a one stopper during his race sim.

  11. Ham the fastest, imagine 2 Ros Ferrari would win the race. Thank god for Lewis. Poor Alo though gutted for him Kimi is literally as fast as Vet but what seperates the 4Xwc and Kimi is Vet does not crack. Alo wiped the floor with Kimi.

    1. I said it last year. Kimi and vettel would be evenly matched and according to the average gap between Alonso and Kimi and ricciardo and vettel, both Alonso and ricciardo would have been at least half a second faster than what the current Ferrari drivers are doing right now. To me both Kimi and vettel are mediocre, Alonso wiped the floor with Kimi and massa also beat him quite often ,even grosjean was better than Kimi at the end of the season when both were racing for lotus. Also ricciardo wiped the floor with vettel last year.

  12. Times are now available at the FIA site.

      1. Thanks for the link @evered7, I always wondered where people got this kind of data from.
        What surprises me most is the longish run pace of Ricciardo, 8 lap stint of low to mid 1:43’s, a lot more competitive than red bull seemed to be from watching the session. Anyone know what tyre he was running at the time?

        1. @yossarian I believe it was medium going by the news mentioned on Autosport Live.

          “The tyres are hanging on OK,” Ricciardo tells Red Bull. He’s in the 43s on the medium tyre.

          1. That’s quite impressive then, probably not going to be close to Mercedes or Ferrari, but they should give Williams a good fight for the best of the rest prize.

  13. The session was not disrupted by the surprising appearance of a person running across the main straight. The figure ran towards the pit wall as cars were passing by.

    Grid girls don’t run while the cars are in action and ruin their or/and others life(lives). Men are insane!

    1. Yes, if we ban grid girls, then surely we must ban men from F1. I’ve ran across three busy roads since practise session finished and have seen others do the same. Bernie should think about the message it is sending to impressionable male adults such as myself.

      Let’s not forget also that 100% of all collisions and crashes in F1 are caused by men.

  14. the top spot looks interesting but maybe the Mercs have that fraction more pace to just keep the Ferrari’s at bay, bets of the rest could be a decent battle between Bottas & Ric, but for me the most interesting part is whether McLaren really have made a step in performance that can be replicated over full race distance, JB at P10 is very encouraging ( and again ahead of FA) , Martin Brundle commented on Sky that the car looked well balanced in one of the turns but again the pu sounded erratic when off throttle , not sure how lap times and stints compare to others ( sauber & Lotus ) but if they can go the distance and maybe tweak setup and power for the weekend then a run at Q3 and a solid points finish could be a possibility ??

    1. they do seem to have improved. The question is, will the PU last the whole race?

      1. yes true, although it looks like JB did 29 laps & FA 27 laps in FP2 which is right in the range of all others ( 26 – 35 ) excluding accidents and breakdowns. I know its not full race distance but it seems there is some progress being made if they can push the lap times up and still manage to match their rivals for number of lap completed…. fingers crossed they can do something half decent.

    2. i read on a polish forum that the next 2 races honda will not improve their power level, but after that their will be an improvement. the report i read (quoted from a german newsagency i think) is that honda are about 100 hp down at the moment, but have made up about 25 since melbourne, the rest of the time made up has been the the slick aero and just getting it all to work together. at the moment they are gaining a second a race. apparently the main problem with the engine for honda is termperatures. if the engine can get to a satifsfactory level, i think mclaren will be near the top. i think mclaren will gladly take these bad performances if they know their is a light at the end of the tunnel… it could set them up as championship contenders for the next few years.

  15. McLaren-Honda in 10th and 12th, that’s great progress. I thought they would be well off the pace for much longer into the season.

  16. What happened with Massa? It looked like he closed his DRS really late or something, and the car rotated from the back, hinting that it was an issue at the back of the car. It would’ve been odd if it was brakes, seeing that the rear brakes on these cars play a much smaller role in the overall braking on the cars now.

    1. digitalrurouni
      10th April 2015, 15:31

      Despite the smaller brakes I think if the energy harvesting is very aggressive, the result will be the same no?

    2. He said to the brazilian press that the car had a problem with the rear wing. And that the mechanics needed to adjust the rear wing on Valtteri’s car to avoid the same problem.
      To me it seemed that the DRS got stuck…

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