Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015

Rosberg on top but Red Bulls are close in second session

2015 Mexican Grand Prix second practice

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Mercedes returned to their usual place on top of the times in second practice – but they had the Red Bulls for company. Nico Rosberg led the way with a best time of 1’21.531, set shortly before a light rain shower made track conditions greasy.

The rain had already begun to fall when the Red Bull pair set their best times. Daniil Kvyat, who had described his car as “undriveable” early in the session, got within a quarter of a second of Rosberg’s time, with his team mate less than a tenth of a second behind.

Lewis Hamilton was fourth-quickest after a brief spin, just two hundredths of a second ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. The world champion’s high-fuel run was disrupted when Romain Grosjean’s stationary Lotus caused the second red flag interruption of the session.

The first was caused by first practice pace setter Max Verstappen, who skidded into the barrier at turn 16 as he was preparing to start his first flying lap.

Valtteri Bottas also made contact with a barrier after losing control of his Williams at the fastest point on the circuit. He knocked his front wing off against a barrier at turn one, yet was able to continue.

With track conditions improving rapidly throughout the session, a late run on soft tyres by Fernando Alonso put the McLaren driver in eighth place. Team mate Jenson Button endured more engine problems, and by the time he was able to begin his programme the rain had returned.

By the end of the session the track was wet enough for intermediate tyres to be required, disrupting the teams’ race simulation runs.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’21.53136
226Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’21.7760.24527
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’21.8680.33728
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’21.9610.43033
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’21.9840.45332
67Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’22.3990.86833
777Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’22.7211.19028
814Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’22.9931.46236
922Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’23.1091.57825
1019Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’23.2891.75832
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’23.2901.75934
1213Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’23.3631.83224
1355Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’23.3641.83341
1412Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’23.4301.89939
1511Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’23.5972.06633
168Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’23.6142.08326
179Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’24.5333.00234
1853Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari1’25.9404.40929
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’26.9685.43728
2033Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault2

Second practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’21.531

+0.245 Daniil Kvyat – 1’21.776

+0.337 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’21.868

+0.430 Lewis Hamilton – 1’21.961

+0.453 Sebastian Vettel – 1’21.984

+0.868 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’22.399

+1.190 Valtteri Bottas – 1’22.721

+1.462 Fernando Alonso – 1’22.993

+1.578 Jenson Button – 1’23.109

+1.758 Felipe Massa – 1’23.289

+1.759 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’23.290

+1.832 Pastor Maldonado – 1’23.363

+1.833 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’23.364

+1.899 Felipe Nasr – 1’23.430

+2.066 Sergio Perez – 1’23.597

+2.083 Romain Grosjean – 1’23.614

+3.002 Marcus Ericsson – 1’24.533

+4.409 Alexander Rossi – 1’25.940

+5.437 Will Stevens – 1’26.968

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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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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12 comments on “Rosberg on top but Red Bulls are close in second session”

  1. I just put this on Twitter, but I really hope track conditions don’t improve. The drivers are struggling and squirming and actually working, and my god is that fun to watch! Seeing 20 of them do it in close quarters would be an immense spectacle, and because of it, a good few drivers seem pretty close.

    1. Absolutely. If this track stays so slippy throughout, we could have a good GP on our hands.

      *crosses fingers

    2. @bradley13 I concur. It has the potential for a great dry weather race for once. I just hope Bruno Senna is not commentating.

      1. Amen to that.

  2. I’m not sure we got a good comparison between the RedBulls and the Mercedes and Ferraris since the track seemed to be improving quickly and the RedBulls went quite a bit later on their quali runs.

  3. So now that we’ve seen the first competitive laps at the new Mexico City circuit: I think the re-vamp has it upsides and downsides, but I have to say overall I’m a bit negative towards the re-design.

    My main complaint is that a lot of character has been lost: the old lay-out had a lot of medium-radius corners, for instance turns 1-3 and 4-6 used to be more open – same goes for the esses. The majority of corners on the new circuit are small-radius turns, a Tilke trademark when redesigning tracks. For some corner I can understand, but for instance why did turns 5 and 7 had to be so tight?

    Another thing I don’t like are the esses. I understand that they had to change them due to FIA’s run-off area requirements, but it has completely ruined the flow of that section. The biggest mistake, in my opinion, was making the first turn of the esses (turn 7) so slow, because it makes turns 8 and 9 feel flat. Also, I think the straight between turns 9 and 10 is too long, it pretty much breaks the esses section up into two generic chicanes. It’s really a shame, because I think the combination of a slippery track, relatively low downforce and a flowing section could have been epic.

    Some positives though: I wasn’t sure about the final corners, but it’s much better than I thought. Drivers seem to take a very late apex at turn 13 (the hairpin), which should leave the door open for some Kobayashi-like overtakes. That entire stadium section feels a bit odd, it’s definitely unique which I quite like.

    So yeah, some positives, but in general I think the new circuit feels a bit flat.

    1. @andae23 Agree about the esses, especially with the analysis on T7 and the straight between 9 and 10. T7 should definitely be a faster corner. You could then push T8 and T9 back a bit further to accommodate for this and the straight would be less and thus a longer flowing section.

      1. @philereid Yeah exactly, I really don’t understand why they decided to break it up into two parts.

    2. @andae23 I think it is unfair to think that they would retain the character of the old circuit, especially losing the original peraltada (sp?) corner which was very epic imo. Its important to remember that back in the 80s when the cars were feathering the throttle to make it through the esses, that to achieve that in todays high mechanical grip, high downforce efficient aero packages of today, that the esses would have to be much greater radius than they would have been in the 80’s, the best example of this I would say is the becketts section at silverstone, or the esses at COTA, you need much much more land and open radius to achieve such an effect, and the track is confined within its original boundaries, and still need grand stands, facilities and everything else required to run the GP.

      I love the new circuit, it hasn’t be tilkerised to death, and it retains the feel of a classic track with the walls being so close to the track, and seeing people enjoying the racing is a real atmosphere enhancer. The stadium is awesome, the pit lane entry is actually challenging and there is time to be made or lost in that one corner, the softs aren’t lasting long on the slippery track, so we may see 2 a stopper on sunday.

  4. Low-grid conditions are exactly what current F1 need.

  5. What happened to Ericsson in that session, 1.2 off his teammate with a decent amount of laps, seems quite unusual?

    1. I think he had problems with his break-bias, so he messed up his quali-runs. Will probably be closer to Nasr tomorrow

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