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British GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice before Mercedes fails

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

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