Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Rosberg ahead again as Hamilton struggles

2015 British Grand Prix second practice

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Second practice at Silverstone was headed by Nico Rosberg – and interrupted twice by red flags.

Having edged Lewis Hamilton in the first practice session Rosberg kept Hamilton from the top spot more decisively in the second. The two Ferrari drivers further relegated the world champion to fourth place.

Hamilton was almost half a second slower than Rosberg, and reported his car was “all over the place” during the latter stages of the session, and struggled to meet the target lap time set by his race engineer.

Despite an overheating problem at one stage Rosberg’s 1’34.155 was a tenth of a second better than he managed in first practice. During the session the stewards also confirmed he would face no penalty for his car being covered up during first practice, though the team was reprimanded.

There was little to separate the two Ferraris who separated the Mercedes pair. Despite being puzzled by a lack of rear grip at the beginning of the session, Kimi Raikkonen pipped Sebastian Vettel by two-tenths of a second.

The two Red Bulls were next, asserting themselves over the Toro Rosso drivers who fell to seventh and ninth having been in the top five during first practice.

Luffield corner caught out several drivers during the session, causing the red flags to appear twice. Romain Grosjean was first, the Lotus driver unable to crawl out of the gravel bed after spinning off.

Fernando Alonso almost did the same but he managed to drag his very dusty McLaren back onto the circuit. Roberto Merhi also got going after spinning at the same corner later on, but the Manor driver was sat there for so long the race director elected to stop the session. It was only once the red flags came out that Merhi was able to get going again.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’34.15533
27Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’34.5020.34729
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’34.5220.36726
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’34.6210.46623
526Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’35.0090.85425
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’35.1530.99821
733Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’35.3001.14536
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’35.3871.23234
955Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’35.8661.71137
1019Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’36.1471.99232
1113Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’36.1642.00932
1277Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’36.1832.02833
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’36.3512.19628
148Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’36.7282.57321
1514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’36.7312.57618
1612Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’36.8222.66723
1722Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’37.1963.04116
189Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’37.3273.17236
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’38.2794.12421
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’39.8785.72320

Second practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’34.155

+0.347 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’34.502

+0.367 Sebastian Vettel – 1’34.522

+0.466 Lewis Hamilton – 1’34.621

+0.854 Daniil Kvyat – 1’35.009

+0.998 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’35.153

+1.145 Max Verstappen – 1’35.300

+1.232 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’35.387

+1.711 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’35.866

+1.992 Felipe Massa – 1’36.147

+2.009 Pastor Maldonado – 1’36.164

+2.028 Valtteri Bottas – 1’36.183

+2.196 Sergio Perez – 1’36.351

+2.573 Romain Grosjean – 1’36.728

+2.576 Fernando Alonso – 1’36.731

+2.667 Felipe Nasr – 1’36.822

+3.041 Jenson Button – 1’37.196

+3.172 Marcus Ericsson – 1’37.327

+4.124 Will Stevens – 1’38.279

+5.723 Roberto Merhi – 1’39.878

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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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43 comments on “Rosberg ahead again as Hamilton struggles”

  1. Very interesting point: Kvyat did that time with hard compound!!!

  2. Mehri is much slower than Stevens (both sessions). could it be because Stevens knows Silverstone all too well, or is he running any updates on the car?

    1. I think that has just been the case pretty much since the start of the season.

      I’ve heard reasons such as Merhi is a bit heavier than Stevens (likely) but you’ve got to hand it to lil’ willy, he’s doing a decent job. I hope he gets to keep his seat next season.

      1. @danbrown180 Mehri was quickest on (at least 2) practice sessions on the Canadian GP and usually closer to Stevens although in some GPs he was also more than 1s behind Stevens.
        But I was under the impression they were much closer, as seen in the Canadian GP, and all of the sudden we see a big margin.

    2. @bakano True, he’s probably running the Manor updates. Now imagine if they had a Ferrari 2015 engine, they might be pushing Sauber and McLaren..

      1. Well Sauber has the 2015 Ferrari engine as well, and obviously a better chassis, so I don’t think Manor can push the Saubers.

        But at engine-dependant tracks, I think the McLarens will have problems with the 2015-spec Manors.

        1. @ducpham – why is saubers chassis ‘obviously’ better?

  3. I’m starting to get the impression that Kvyat is faster than Ricciardo.

    1. Maybe but also Kyvatt is moving up where Ricciardo has not got a car at the level of last year, this can effect driver motivation like Vettel v Ricciardo last year.

      1. It’s quite interesting. There seems to be a distinct switch in who is the quicker driver. Possibly at Monaco…
        It’s hard to say. Is it due to a shift in setup philosophy?
        We all know that an F1 car is set up as a complete package and is formulated at some point during the previous season.
        Maybe the Renault engineers “sold” the 2015 engine, saying it will as have “x” horespower with specific power, torque curves and “x” energy recovery and delivery abilities. Renault also state the cooling and airflow requirements of said engine.
        Red Bull engineers go away and design a design a package around said parameters and all seems like a good step forward from 2014.
        Then…. Once Red Bull strap the engine in the car and realise that the engine fails most of it’s targets (most notably outright horsepower) they have to race their car (by operating it way outside it’s original aero envelope) to have any hope of staying with the front runners.

        Maybe the lean low down force setup suits Kyvatt more than Ricciardo? It’s a possibility… But it could very well be frustration on Ricciardo’s part.

        1. Monaco was also the first clean weekend for both of them at the same time.

          1. That may be so… but I think free practice times too may show a shift toward Kvyatt as the season progressed. It will be interesting to see whether it’s Kvyatt’s skill that has blossomed or Ricciardo’s mojo that has gone walkies!

            As a big Ricciardo fan, i’m hoping he can find it!

          2. Kvyat thoroughly trashed Ricciardo at Malaysia already. Both had the same problem during the race but Kvyat easily caught and overtook Ricciardo there despite a spin after contact with Hulkenberg.
            Other than that race Kvyat hasn’t had any problem free races at the start of the season. Much like Vettel didn’t last year.
            This year though, as opposed to only one car being struck with reliability issues almost every race, Ricciardo’s car has not enjoyed the reliability it did last year. I think that was the main reason Vettel struggled last year whereas Ricciardo looked to be the second coming. Now Ricciardo looks just as ‘mundane’ as Vettel did last year.

          3. Kvyat didn’t even race in Australia. They are actually even closer than the standings suggest.

    2. I don’t think Ricciardo is any slower. He’s still doing a very good job. He was good at opening rounds. But don’t underestimate Kvyat. He is also good despite lacking experience and being in his 2nd year. That doesn’t mean Ricciardo is doing bad.

    3. Looking at the bigger picture, what are all those Renault engines doing in the top 10, have Renault found power, ( speedtrap ?) or are the cars just perfect for Silverstone?

      1. same question twice, the Merc engine cars can run more downforce for better laptime

    4. I wasn’t expecting this to be honest. I completely changed my mind about Kvyat in the last few races.

  4. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    3rd July 2015, 16:04

    So Hamilton choosing last year clutch configuration didn’t help him to beat Ros? Or it may be that it paid off for Nico to do his homework in Austria post-race test while Lewis was with doctor Pharrel at Gigi’s hospital?

    1. Is Hamilton’s aim to win Friday or works toward winning the weekend?

      Perhaps when you go on a run of 15 consecutive podiums while averaging well above 20 points per race, it will be wise to defer to your opinion. Until then, I think Lewis has got this.

      1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        3rd July 2015, 16:30

        @kodongo don’t forget they are 4-3 in victories, and different from last year, Nico is winning with Lewis on track, not because Ham abandons the race. And also, last victory was for Nico, overtaking Lewis (clutch excuses aside) at the start. So I don’t think Lewis has this one in the bag already, despite his comments of how he wants his 1st place trophy this time. To finish first, first you have to finish.

        1. >To finish first, first you have to finish.

          And this is what Lewis has been doing. Finishing (15 times in a row) and finishing first (10/15). He has made a marked improvement in his quali sessions from last year and has been hindered by Safety Cars 3 times (Malaysia – gave the lead to Vettel; Monaco – gave the lead to Rosberg and Austria – lost the chance to respond to Rosberg’s lightning start).

          Nico has outperformed Lewis twice on Sundays (Spain and Austria) and deserves credit for being in position to profit at Monaco. But hiccups aside, I still see Lewis having a good advantage in general.

          1. Not so sure. Mathematically the advantage is virtually negligible. Last season Rosberg went on a roll of wins before Hamilton pulled it back after getting the team’s backing at Spa. In retrospect that was decisive: Rosberg had his tail between his legs for the rest of the season, while Hamilton clearly felt secure that the team was behind him. Right now, though, Rosberg is winning on track and fairly. Hamilton has to re-focus and find something extra if he wants the third title. Rosberg was simply the better driver in Austria. If he does the same at Silverstone, that’s very dangerous for Hamilton’s prospects indeed.

        2. If not for a gaffe it very well would be 5-2.

          1. if but maybe, the story of the HAM fan…. :-)

    2. The clutch is only for starts and leaving the pits.

  5. Kimi Raikkonen pipped Sebastian Vettel by two-tenths of a second.

    Two hundredths, actually.

    Hulk crushed Perez in both P1 and P2. Maybe he’s running some updates on his car.

    1. What about Kvyat? He did better than Ricciardo with a harder compound. lol. That’s crushed.

    2. FI have the B-spec car with new nose, but I’d be surprised if they aren’t both running it, as they tested it after Austria.

  6. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    3rd July 2015, 16:31

    “pipped” is one of your favorite words, isn’t it @keithcollantine?
    (the other one is “it’s DRIVER’S NAME’s to lose)
    hahaha

  7. Torro Rosso’s look *very* impressive.. After FP1 and FP2 it seems they will be fighting with RB for 5th / 6th place.

    1. They have a very good car. 4th/5th best probably.

  8. Rosberg looking good! Hopefully he can continue this into the race and show Lewis how it is done.

  9. Nornally, the Ferraris are closest to the Mercedes’ in FP2, yet the former still stuggle to keep on with the later’s pace in the race. This time, Ferrari is 0.3 off the Mercs’ pace in FP2, so I’m not seeing a Ferrari vs. Mercedes battle for the win here in Silverstone.

    And also normally, Williams are there to punish Ferrari for their mistakes, and Williams are not there at all this weekend. So most likely a Ferrari will be on the 3rd podium.

    Looks like a boring race to me…

    1. I think it’s shaping up to be interesting… HAM and ROS could put on a show for the win. The rest of the field behind them looks pretty tight. I’m sure there will be interesting battles up and down the field. But we really do need a battle on track between HAM and ROS.

    2. Williams are always slow on Fridays. Wait until tomorrow to see a better indication of their performance.

      1. Massa already said they look slower than Red Bull.

  10. Williams’ long runs were nowhere, which is as bad as Monaco’s case.

    1. Where is the data on long runs? I cannot see them anywhere. IIRC, Rosberg>Ferrari>Hamilton>RBR was the order on the long runs. I’m actually not sure whether RBR or Hamilton was faster.

  11. Interesting radio message to Raikkonen showing how specific the information given to drivers on how to heat their tyres up is:

    “The out-lap should be without weaving. It should be a reasonably good pace to get the front warm-up. Please try and protect the rears from high surface temperature. But we don’t believe it should be sort of a super-slow out-lap, it should be a normal pace out-lap.”

    1. what surprises me most about these types of radio messages, it seems this is the first time such things are discussed to the driver, why aren’t “how do we warm up our tyres” discussed during debriefs and prior to going out on track?

      1. Well, given Kimi’s attitude, he might just be sleeping during debriefs :P

        On a more serious note, it’s maybe just a reminder of something discussed earlier.

  12. Kimi Raikkonen pipped Sebastian Vettel by two-tenths of a second.

    @keithcollantine I picked this up “two-hundredths of a second.”

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