Hamilton ahead as heat rises in Spain

2015 Spanish Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton kept Mercedes on top in the second practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya as rising temperatures made it hard for drivers to improve their lap times.

Hamilton set the pace with a 1’26.852 on the medium compound tyres – but that was fractionally slower than Nico Rosberg managed in the morning session on the harder rubber. The track temperature rose by over 20C between the two sessions and was nudging 50 degrees by the time the chequered flag came down on Friday’s running.

Rosberg was one of the first drivers to discover how quickly the tyre performance dropped off on the hot track – his medium tyre run was over three-quarters of a second slower than Hamilton subsequent effort. Sebastian Vettel separated the two silver cars, some four tenths of a second shy of Hamilton’s mark.

An unhappy Kimi Raikkonen complained on several occasions about a lack of grip, which his race engineer assured him was typical of what the others were experiencing, and ended the session within a second of Hamilton’s time.

The only other driver to break the 1’28s barrier was Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull which was sporting a revised, shorter nose. He ended practice fifth ahead of Max Verstappen.

Next up was Jenson Button who produced an eye-catching lap time in the freshly-livered McLaren good enough for seventh on the times sheets. Team mate Fernando Alonso was just two-tenths of a second slower, but they were separated by a tightly-knit group including Carlos Sainz Jnr and both Williams cars.

For the second session running Daniel Ricciardo only managed a handful of laps. Once again Red Bull had to replace the Renault engine in his car, and he eventually made it out with less than ten minutes remaining.

Romain Grosjean’s running was also hampered by technical problems. The most spectacular of which came when the engine cover on his Lotus shattered as he passed the start/finish straight, causing the session to be red-flagged while the debris was cleared up.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.85226
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’27.2600.40837
36Nico RosbergMercedes1’27.6160.76435
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’27.7800.92836
526Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’27.9431.09125
633Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’28.0171.16532
722Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’28.4941.64231
877Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’28.5251.67339
955Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’28.6741.82231
1019Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’28.7121.86036
1114Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’28.7231.87128
128Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’29.0862.23414
133Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’29.0982.2464
1413Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’29.2172.36534
1512Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’29.3332.48137
169Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’29.3612.50934
1727Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’29.6012.74938
1811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’29.7072.85535
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’31.9295.07730
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’32.7515.89923

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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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19 comments on “Hamilton ahead as heat rises in Spain”

  1. Predicting a front row lockout for Mercedes in quali, but the Ferrari might mix it up with tyre strategy and challenge the 2nd Merc during the race.

    Impressive lap from Jenson and decent pace shown from Nando as well. Mclaren are genuinely looking quicker than Force India and Lotus this weekend. Mclaren actually might be in the points if the Toro Rosso or RB cars hit engine trouble.

  2. What tyres did JB use compared to the others and Alonso ?

    1. everyones best times were set on the mediums. so pretty impressive laps from the McLarens

  3. Hm, so Red Bull did get closer on pace, but Ricciardo proved that they are clearly still struggling with reliability. McLaren seems to have indeed made a step forwart and might even have a shot at points this time round.

    1. it would have been faster if ricciardo was the driver… anyway, it is the same story, they have a great chassis, and a rubbish engine down on power and unreliable.

    2. @bascb was he using his fifth engine?

      1. I don’t know, but I guess the team just made repairs?

      2. Fourth, no?

    3. @bascb @mim5 Ricciardo is using his 4th engine as @paeschli said

  4. Best time in winter testing was a 1:22,792 by Rosberg on soft compound.

    I can’t imagine that they will go 4s faster on saturday.

    1. HAM had done 1:26.142 on Medium tires in the winter test. The summer track temps has apparently not impacted his pace that much.

  5. Wow, we really need to see which tires McLaren were on but this is astonishing and great news – WOW

  6. McLaren Honda just 1.6 seconds slower at a track where everyone else ran miles and miles and miles during the winter while they were fixing engines is HUGE progress.

    1. Wouldn’t it be better (dream on) to allow newcomers (Honda this year, Haas next year) some relaxation on track testing? Like this we would see better racing from the git-go of the season instead of waiting half a dozen races for them to get some meaningful mileage under their belts.

  7. i hope the race will see ferrari close to mercedes, redbull ahead of Williams, and Mclaren as the 5th fastest team.

  8. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    8th May 2015, 17:02

    Come on Jenson beat Alonso this weekend! To me, that’s more important than where McLaren are relative to the other teams. Be awesome if turns out Jenson is actually faster than Fernando on merit.

  9. I predict that Marciello is going to be one of the Haas drivers.

    1. I think you have a good point there! Marciello with the american driver! Why not, it would be a win-win situation for Haas. Or Gutierrez!

  10. Kvyat lapped very fast on an used set of hards. RB is back, looking forward to see what Ricciardo can do. I made an audacious bet a month ago, betting for Ricciardo’s pole at Monaco and it seems as if the car has improved to where RB was aiming for all along but. I fear however that it isn’t enough to award f1 with another contender, especially considering that McLaren can be almost as quick as Renault on a straight line.

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