Rosberg edges Hamilton in close second session

2016 Japanese Grand Prix second practice

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Nico Rosberg stayed on top in the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix but he was only fractionally ahead of his team mate.

The Mercedes drivers were separated by just 0.072 seconds on their quickest runs on the soft tyres. Lewis Hamilton almost matched Rosberg around all three sectors of the Suzuka circuit.

The Ferraris were closer in the second session, Kimi Raikkonen getting within a third of a second of the silver cars. However he went slightly wide at the hairpin, as he did in first practice, and complained of serious understeer in his car which he said felt as if he’d lost his front wing. He also had to pit for attention to a misfire.

The Red Bull drivers had to abort their qualifying simulation runs on soft tyres when Esteban Gutierrez stopped at Dunlop, causing a Virtual Safety Car period. Daniel Ricciardo had already done the first two sectors and so did not bother running again. Verstappen did set a time but ended up half a second off Raikkonen.

Both Force India drivers made it into the top ten, as did Fernando Alonso’s repaired McLaren after his first practice off. He led a tightly-knit group which included Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Felipe Massa and the delayed Ricciardo.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’32.25035
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’32.3220.07235
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’32.5730.32326
433Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’33.0610.81129
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’33.1030.85334
611Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’33.5701.32037
727Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’33.8731.62335
814Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’33.9851.73537
977Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’34.0281.77833
1055Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.0861.83633
1119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’34.1271.87733
123Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’34.1501.90029
138Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’34.2411.99133
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.3052.05527
1520Kevin MagnussenRenault1’34.3392.08936
1622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’34.3982.14829
1721Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’34.6432.39311
1830Jolyon PalmerRenault1’34.7602.51040
1912Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’34.8242.57426
2094Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’35.2923.04230
2131Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’35.4003.15037
229Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’36.3184.06826

Second practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’32.250

+0.072 Lewis Hamilton – 1’32.322

+0.323 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’32.573

+0.811 Max Verstappen – 1’33.061

+0.853 Sebastian Vettel – 1’33.103

+1.320 Sergio Perez – 1’33.570

+1.623 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’33.873

+1.735 Fernando Alonso – 1’33.985

+1.778 Valtteri Bottas – 1’34.028

+1.836 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’34.086

+1.877 Felipe Massa – 1’34.127

+1.900 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’34.150

+1.991 Romain Grosjean – 1’34.241

+2.055 Daniil Kvyat – 1’34.305

+2.089 Kevin Magnussen – 1’34.339

+2.148 Jenson Button – 1’34.398

+2.393 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’34.643

+2.510 Jolyon Palmer – 1’34.760

+2.574 Felipe Nasr – 1’34.824

+3.042 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’35.292

+3.150 Esteban Ocon – 1’35.400

+4.068 Marcus Ericsson – 1’36.318

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

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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13 comments on “Rosberg edges Hamilton in close second session”

  1. Very small differences! between 4th and 19th is only 1.8 sec !

  2. “The Mercedes drivers were separated by just 0.072 seconds on their quickest runs on the soft tyres. Lewis Hamilton almost matched Rosberg around all three sectors of the Suzuka circuit.”

    Lewis “almost matched” Rosberg in all three sectors? Is that keithspeech for “Rosberg was the fastest in all three sectors”?


    1. Ah, damn it. It’s “ronspeak”, not “ronspeech”, right? So the word should’ve been “keithspeak”.

      I can’t even make words up properly. :D

    2. I suppose the point of that sentence is that they were evenly matched throughout the lap; i.e. Rosberg didn’t beat Hamilton by half a second in S1 and vice versa in S2.

      1. It certainly is, but I’m still poking fun at how it is worded. Keith’s a very competent writer after all, so I’m rather inclined that what he says and how he says it, actually has significance. ;)

    3. yeah, looks like Lewis will have to work for this championship.

  3. What is a misfire? I remember cars retiring in the early days because of a misfire due to a faulty spark plug or something. What is it nowadays?

    1. Possibly related to electronics system(s) causing the misfire.

  4. Very impressed by Force India development this year, historically they haven’t been able to keep up in the latter half of the season. Let’s hope they can stay out of trouble this weekend.

    1. What about when they were second in spa in a shorter season?

    2. @pastaman
      “historically they haven’t been able to keep up in the latter half of the season.”

      Let’s have a look into the statistics:
      First 10 races: 47 points (4.7 per race) – last 9 races: 21 points (2.3 per race)
      First 10 races: 20 points (2 per race) – last 9 races: 49 points (5.5 per race)
      First 10 races: 46 points, next 10 races: 63 points
      First 10 races: 59 points, next 9 races (7.3 per race): 18 points (2 per race)
      First 10 races: 98 points (9.8 per race), next 9 races: 57 points (6.3 per race)
      First 10 races: 39 points (4 per race) – next 9 races: 97 points (10.8 per race)
      First 10 races: 73 points (7.3 per race), next 6 races (thus far): 41 points (almost 7 per race)

      In other words:
      Since the introduction of the current points system in 2010 (which coincidentally also marks the beginning of a new time for Force India as regular points scorers), Force India have had:
      – 3 seasons in which they scored more points in the second half of the season (2011, 2012, and 2015 – the latter half of 2015 standing out as their most successful half-season thus far)
      – 3 seasons that started in a more promising way than they ended (2010, 2013, and 2014 – the latter season being the one during which Force India’s points results were the most evenly distributed over both halves of the season)
      – 1 season that’s too close to tell (2016)

      On average, Force India has scored 5.5 points per race in the first half of every season since 2010, and 5.7 points per race in the remaining races.

      Statistics say:
      If anything, Force India have a veeery slight tendency to improve over the course of a season. :)

      1. So after all now this force India need to Williams and grab that 4th

      2. @nase Looks correct based on points, though I think we would need to look further to see how many potential points were lost based on retirements or poor strategy.

        Even better still would be to compare lap time improvements relative to the competition.

        Points alone will not give a complete picture, but kudos for the analysis!

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