Mercedes, Bahrain, 2015

Rosberg quickest in FP2 as Vettel, Perez collide

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix second practice

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Mercedes, Bahrain, 2015Mercedes were back on top in second practice in Bahrain with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton quickest from Ferrari.

But there was drama as Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel made contact at Turn One in the closing minutes, bringing out the red flag and leaving the Ferrari with a broken front wing.

The session began with a setting sun and floodlights illuminating the circuit but temperatures not too much cooler than the afternoon session. Many drivers were heard complaining about the brightness of their steering wheel displays early in the session.

Mercedes immediately upped their pace from the first session, with Lewis Hamilton setting the early benchmark with a 1’36.795 on the Medium tyres – quicker than Ferrari managed in first practice.

After Jenson Button lost an entire session’s running in FP1 when his McLaren seized up at Turn One, there was more frustration for Button in the second session when he stopped at Turn 11 after completing only three laps.

Ferrari were the first team to try the Soft compound tyres, with Kimi Raikkonen improving by around two seconds on his Medium. Sebastian Vettel was set to beat his team mate’s time, but ran wide at the final corner, costing him half a second.

Then it was the turn of the Mercedes to try out the Soft compound for the first time. Hamilton went quickest with a 1’34.762, but was immediately beaten by Rosberg who improved by a tenth on his team mate.

With everyone having completed a run on the Soft tyres, teams turned their focus to longer runs. Hamilton ran on the Medium tyres, while Rosberg ran a stint on the Soft tyres.

After stopping early, McLaren were able to get Button’s McLaren back out on the circuit for some brief runs.

With just over ten minutes to go, the session was red flagged when Sergio Perez made contact with the front wing of Vettel’s Ferrari, leaving debris on the track at Turn One.

Vettel had claimed over radio that he had suffered a brake failure and was hit by the Force India at the apex of the turn as Perez abandoned a move to pass Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber ahead. The incident is under investigation by the stewards.

When the session restarted, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton were seen driving around a queue of cars waiting at pit exit by taking to the restricted area of the inside of the pitlane. Both drivers are also being investigated.

No one was able to improve their times at the front of the field during the final minutes and Mercedes finish the first day’s running around half a second quicker than the Ferrari’s on ultimate one-lap pace.

Pos.No.DriverBest lapLaps
16Nico Rosberg1’34.64731
244Lewis Hamilton1’34.76233
37Kimi Raikkonen1’35.17430
45Sebastian Vettel1’35.27726
577Valtteri Bottas1’35.28036
63Daniel Ricciardo1’35.44927
713Pastor Maldonado1’35.47434
812Felipe Nasr1’35.79327
926Daniil Kvyat1’35.88323
1019Felipe Massa1’35.88435
119Marcus Ericsson1’36.14834
1214Fernando Alonso1’36.19122
138Romain Grosjean1’36.33431
1455Carlos Sainz1’36.47132
1527Nico Hulkenberg1’36.80530
1633Max Verstappen1’36.91726
1711Sergio Perez1’37.06233
1828Will Stevens1’39.13121
1922Jenson Button1’39.20915
2098Roberto Merhi1’40.59226

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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47 comments on “Rosberg quickest in FP2 as Vettel, Perez collide”

  1. Ok so just watched the BBC broadcast of second practice and in the recap at the end with Lee McKenzie i noticed Eddie Jordan looked seriously high and/or drunk hahaha! Saying stuff like “the practice kept us on the sits of our toes” and being captain obvious even more than usual…Also laughed awkwardly whilst interviewing T. Wolff lol really made me chuckle…With that said P2 was very much what we expected: Mercs in front and Ferrari three-quarters of a step back.
    Hope Rosberg enjoys it whilst it lasts because from tomorrow he’ll be staring at Ham’s rearend (AGAIN!)

    1. I was half watching/half listening to it at work, I thought I was hearing things when I heard that, switched back and he looked really wasted!

      1. Not so sure! Nico pole the last two years, Lewis never on pole. Nico faster on race pace last year just rubbish at tactical positioning for overtakes (Alonso would have set Lewis up three or four corners before the final move – Nico lacks this skill.)
        If Nico stayed ahead at the start last year he would have won. He has a few tracks (and only a few) he is a specialist at and at Bahrain he historically has had an edge on Lewis.
        Also let’s not forget that in 2014 Lewis was faster in Oz, Malaysia and China. Same this year.
        Nico was faster in Bahrain and Barcelona. Same this year? And don’t count Ferrari out. Long run pace threatening and both drivers quick!
        Lewis fans take solice from Fp2 mistake in turn 8 without which he would have topped the session. However that’s the reason he had never been on pole here. Mistakes!

  2. I don’t know why was happening to Vettel, but I think the brake issues might harmed him hitting Perez’s right-rear tyre. My answer is the brake failure issue. Also at the end of the session Kimi and Lewis went there on slow lane, but all of these cars are checking the vehicle. So my both answer might be Seb, Kimi and Lewis, if grid penalty is 3 of them this would be entirely nightmare for Ferrari.

  3. @nico_rosberg: “…Ferrari´s pace in race mode is worriyng…”

    1. The Ferraris look decent but I think he has more than enough pace in the car to finish 2nd…

      1. hummm there is some though. I don’t want to get my hopes high yet, but:

        RAI (SOFT ? not sure):
        17 1:38.943
        18 1:39.357
        19 1:39.351
        20 1:39.629
        21 1:40.667
        22 1:39.663
        23 1:40.077
        24 1:40.204
        25 7:08.813
        26 1:39.745
        27 1:40.375
        28 1:40.809

        ROS (MEDIUM):
        13 1:48.795
        14 1:39.453
        15 1:40.097
        16 1:39.630
        17 1:40.000
        18 1:40.994
        19 1:45.806
        20 1:40.160
        21 1:40.363
        22 1:41.001
        23 1:40.370
        24 1:40.048
        25 1:41.455
        26 1:41.191
        27 1:41.028

        VET (MEDIUM):
        16 2:15.089
        17 1:38.916
        18 1:39.573
        19 1:39.221
        20 1:39.226
        21 1:39.742
        22 1:39.733
        23 1:39.790
        24 1:39.793

        HAM (SOFT):
        14 1:40.724
        15 1:40.840
        16 1:40.470
        17 1:40.313
        18 1:50.022
        19 1:41.737
        20 1:40.577
        21 1:40.686
        22 1:41.625
        23 1:40.714
        24 1:42.313
        25 1:40.902

        1. *some merit to it.

          Funny how quite a few words just got lost)))

        2. or did I get the tyres all wrong?

          1. I think not: I suspect Lewis times with soft tyres are a simulation of his first stint in the race, when we have a car very heavy in fuel.

          2. I believe is Raikkonen (Medium)
            Rosberg (Soft)
            Vettel (Soft)
            Hamilton (Medium)

          3. @reh1v2-0 Raikkonen was on softs.

          4. According to autosport live, Kimi & Lewis were on mediums.

          5. @Lance Raikkonen was on softs at the end of the session yes, but on the first longer stint he was on mediums. And I am quite surprised by that times set by Kimi.

        3. Thanks, @njoydesign

          Average time laps on medius:

          Nico: 1s40.445 — 14 laps
          Seb : 1s39.499 — 8 laps
          Gap : 0s946

          1. @becken-lima
            I did get the tyres wrong though. From Keith:
            Hamilton ran on the Medium tyres, while Rosberg ran a stint on the Soft tyres.

            So Rosberg was on softs seeing how far he can make them last. While Lewis was almost matching him on mediums.

        4. where do you get the long runs lap times data from?

          1. got it; thanks; did not know about that

      2. It seems to me that Ferrari is much closer to Mercedes,
        taking into account that both, Raikkonen and Vettel
        lost about half a second in the last sector in their
        fastest laps. Also, Vettel’s stint on the soft tires
        looked a little better than Rosberg’s on the same tires.

        1. Hamilton lost around 4 tenths with a big lock-up in sector 2 on his fastest lap, so the gap shouldn’t be too misleading.

          1. That is true, but Rosberg had a much cleaner lap. I believe that the Mercedes is out of the reach in qualifying, but still secretly hope that Ferrari can pass at least one of them in the race.

      3. Excuse me for asking, but did you compile this breakdown of lap times yourself or did you get them off the internet?

        1. @drycrust

          see the link three comments above =)

          1. Thanks for telling me. Doh! I’ll blame myself for not seeing it.

    2. Last time out, Rosberg was tasked with testing out the harder tire. In that case, Ferrari looked very close in practice. However, in the race, when they were all on the harder tire, Hamilton smoked Rosberg (and the Ferraris). I notice that this time MB reversed the testing roles for the tire. Maybe they noticed this too. Last year, similarly, Rosberg was good on the softer tire (and in qualifying) but Hamilton was able to often walk him when the harder tire went on.

  4. Rosberg might have penned the fastest lap today but from my position I can’t see Nico threatening this weekend. Nico is not driving the car right, Lewis looks at ease and the Mercs look good both on qually and race trim.
    I can’t see Ferrari threatening, especially considering Ferrari’s setup.
    Bahrain was never going to be an easy track for Ferrari regardless of the starting time.
    Ferrari have been successful in the past but in this current gen Bahrain is too much of a power track, besides that degradation is not particularly high for the high abrasion surface. There’s only significant loss of tyre life on traction zones. I’m previewing a fight between Williams and Ferrari for the 3rd spot.

    1. Also Lewis had a big lock-up in sector 2 on his fastest lap – according to the sky commentary that cost him roughly 4 tenths, so he had some more pace in hand today. But of course, it’s the lap in qualifying that matters, we’ll see who delivers the best lap time tomorrow.

      1. I would also look at Alonso’s lap time. In Shanghai the McLaren looked good in FP but the top teams turned the PU up for Qualifying. I think today Mercedes were just trying their utmost to have good race pace. I think there’s 2.5 secs on the Merc for qualifying.

      2. Nico also made a mistake on his low fuel lap, Locked up into turn 10 & also missed the apex at turn 4.

        I was watching his in-car camera on sky’s ipad app at the time.

  5. Which Red Bull followed Kimi & Lewis through the pit box? Will it get investigated too or do 2nd tier teams have different rules?

    1. It was Kwyat.

    2. It was an interesting one, because the guys were clearly waiting doing practice starts when the pit exit light was green. I’d almost argue that the people at the end of the pit lane not getting on with it should be more under investigation than Hamilton and Kimi (and Kvyat, or not Kvyat!). Perhaps something was discussed in the drivers’ briefing that we’re not party to – I think they usually discuss where to do the practice starts.

      1. well, in china (or was it Malaysia already) Grosjean got a grid penalty for doing exactly the same, so I would guess that the FIA have started to penalize this, until then it had been pretty normal behaviour @john-h

        1. Just a reprimand for Räikkönen according to Fia website.

        2. @bascb Imagine if they penalised Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen, so Rosberg won by default haha. Buzz kill.

          1. steve (@maximustotalus)
            17th April 2015, 20:35

            Imagine the racing between the 3 say they got a 5 place or even a 10 place grid penalty and had to fight through the pack then when they got too 2nd 3 rd and 4th safety car so they can challenge rosberg and knock him down to 4th

  6. Encouraging result for McLaren, in terms of pace. As the critical comparison, .3s behind RBR. Some might say that turning down the engine, going slow, and working hard to gradually get reliable power is better than throwing on tons of untested updates and then throwing a tantrum when the car is both slow and unreliable.

    1. Yes, as long as you can put up with impatient fans screaming bloody murder that their beloved team is ruined and will never score a point ever.

      Keep your head down McLaren, you’ll get there!

    2. Indeed! this was the closest McLaren has been to the top this season so far!

  7. Formula 1
    ‏@F1
    Vettel/Perez collision: Stewards decide no driver wholly or predominantly to blame, no further action should be taken. #F1 #BahrainGP

    https://twitter.com/F1/status/589122444574597121

    1. Thanks for this.

  8. I looked at the breakdown of the different Practice 2 lap times, and the one that stood out was Sebastian Vettel, who did 7 1:39 laps in a row. I like that!
    My thanks to Ivan B for the link (above), much appreciated. I don’t know why they don’t make it more obvious that this sort of data is available.

    1. @drycrust FIA got a new head of communications, but no improvement seen just yet..

      1. @fastiesty I had never noticed this sort of data before, so I don’t know whether I had just overlooked it or that it has just become available. I suspect it was me.

        1. FIA should mention the type of tyres for each stint in these documents, lap timing wihtout that information is not useful

  9. Looking how close Ferrari and Mercedes race pace is I’m starting to be reminded of 2013 where Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari were all hitting the performance ceiling of the tyre and Red Bull were complaining their chassis could go faster but the tyres couldn’t take it.

    I think by next year with another year for Allison to develop that Ferrari I’m not too confident of Mercedes still dominating.

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