Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest for Ferrari before problems

Sebastian Vettel topped second practice for Formula 1's Austrian Grand Prix, but then suffered further gearbox problems on his Ferrari

Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest for Ferrari before problems

Vettel had only completed four laps in the morning session due to a mechanical failure, and he spent the second part of practice two parked in the garage as well.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led the way when the field was on the slower soft-compound Pirelli tyres in the early part of the session, a tenth-and-a-half clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

But Hamilton was unable to improve when he bolted on the super-soft tyres later in the session thanks to some off-track moments on his quick laps, one at Turn 1 and one when he ran wide after losing the rear through the final double right-hander.

Team-mate Rosberg did manage to improve after his first attempt to do so was undermined by a brief wide moment at the end of the lap, taking top spot for a while before Vettel pipped him by just 11 thousandths of a second.

Raikkonen found over four tenths on the quicker rubber to take third place ahead of Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who had a late off-track trip through the gravel at Turn 3 after a lock-up on entry.

This meant that Hamilton was shuffled down to fifth place, 0.537s off the pace, in the final reckoning just ahead of Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Though Vettel had held the edge during the fast laps, he missed much of the long-run section of practice after being ordered to return to the garage with a gearbox problem soon after going out on heavier fuel.

Romain Grosjean made it two Lotuses in the top seven, followed by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen.

Felipe Nasr and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz, who had a trip through the gravel at Turn 5 but was able to rejoin and continue.

Daniil Kvyat could not carry over his form from the morning and ended up 12th ahead of Marcus Ericsson.

Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who locked out the front row in Austria in 2014, kept a low profile during the session - as is often the case for a team that usually only unleashes its real pace on Saturday.

This left the pair down in 14th and 15th places, ahead of the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, who sandwiched Daniel Ricciardo and also completed very limited running.

As always, Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi brought up the rear, albeit with Stevens only 2.922s off the pace on this relatively short circuit.

PRACTICE TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m09.600s - 28
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m09.611s 0.011s 50
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m09.860s 0.260s 41
4 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m09.914s 0.314s 44
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.137s 0.537s 49
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m10.160s 0.560s 49
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m10.267s 0.667s 38
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m10.356s 0.756s 48
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m10.495s 0.895s 39
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m10.585s 0.985s 46
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m10.631s 1.031s 50
12 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m10.686s 1.086s 48
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m10.744s 1.144s 40
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m10.746s 1.146s 34
15 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m11.011s 1.411s 42
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m11.517s 1.917s 17
17 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m11.676s 2.076s 38
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m11.919s 2.319s 17
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m12.522s 2.922s 34
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m13.094s 3.494s 34

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Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg sets pace, Sebastian Vettel has problems

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