British GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice before Mercedes fails
|By Edd Straw||Friday, July 4th 2014, 14:36 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton outpaced Formula 1 title rival and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during the second free practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone before suffering a car failure.
Hamilton set the pace during the early running while the field was using the slower hard-compound Pirellis, around two tenths faster than Rosberg, with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo splitting the pair.
But although Rosberg briefly took top spot on his first flying lap on mediums, there were some scruffy moments during the lap and he struggled to put as good time together as he would have liked to.
Hamilton produced a better lap, even though he was slower than Rosberg in the first sector of the lap, ending up 0.228s faster.
He later showed that he had the potential to lap even faster, setting the fastest opening sector of all on the fifth lap of his medium run before heading for the pits.
But Hamilton suffered a setback with 30 minutes remaining when his engine shut down while he was on an out-lap, meaning he completed only 14 laps.
Fernando Alonso was third fastest, just under three quarters of a second down.
This meant Ricciardo slipped to fourth, one second off the pace after failing to improve his lap time on the mediums, complaining that the front tyres did not come up to temperature.
Sebastian Vettel was able to find pace on the medium rubber, but still ended up just over a tenth behind his team-mate in fifth place after struggling with balance problems.
After sitting out morning practice to allow Susie Wolff to make her F1 weekend debut, Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest, 1.5s off the pace. He suffered a problem with his engine cover on the left side of the car suffering damage late in the session.
His car had managed only four laps in the morning following an engine failure, but was still able to take to the track early in the session after quick work by the Williams team.
Jenson Button was one of the later drivers to try the mediums with just over 40 minutes remaining, pipping McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen by seven hundredths.
Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top 10, with Felipe Massa 11th after joining the session late following repairs required by damaged sustained when he crashed exiting Stowe during the morning session.
Vergne himself escaped an accident when the left-front wheel came free from his Toro Rosso at Abbey late in the session, forcing him to stop on track.
Esteban Gutierrez, who was the first to set a time on mediums and briefly climbed as high as sixth, ended up 13th behind Daniil Kvyat.
Lotus had a trying day, with Pastor Maldonado going 14th fastest after missing the morning session and Romain Grosjean battling an unstable car, at one stage losing the rear at Luffield and running through the gravel.
Local team Force India, based across the road from the main entrance of Silverstone, had a low-key day, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg 16th and 17th.
Marcus Ericsson, who ended up slowest, pulled into the old pitlane with a problem with 25 minutes remaining and a hole in his engine cover.
Marussia's Jules Bianchi had held bottom spot for much of the session after battling a battery problem, but he improved to 19th fastest late on.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.508s 14 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.736s +0.228s 35 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.244s +0.736s 32 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m35.511s +1.003s 11 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m35.627s +1.119s 27 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m36.016s +1.508s 33 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.228s +1.720s 34 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.299s +1.791s 35 9. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.554s +2.046s 29 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.583s +2.075s 26 11. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m36.671s +2.163s 29 12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.778s +2.270s 31 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.951s +2.443s 35 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m37.064s +2.556s 35 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.097s +2.589s 33 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m37.236s +2.728s 37 17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m37.449s +2.941s 27 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.520s +3.012s 25 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.658s +4.150s 11 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m39.068s +4.560s 31 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m39.224s +4.716s 28 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m39.762s +5.254s 21