Chinese GP: Felipe Massa sets the pace in second practice

Felipe Massa put Ferrari on top in the second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai

Chinese GP: Felipe Massa sets the pace in second practice

Runaway morning pacesetter Nico Rosberg had to settle for fourth this time, as Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso took second and third places.

Initially Rosberg and Mercedes resumed their commanding morning form by setting the initial pace, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton was next up.

The soft tyre runs started early, with Mark Webber switching from the medium rubber just 20 minutes in.

He used his new Pirellis to outpace Rosberg by 0.6s and claim first place, although the German soon retaliated with his own soft-tyre dash and got back in front.

But the second half of the afternoon was all about Ferrari and Massa.

A 1m35.340s from Massa on the soft tyres put him in front, and that was where he stayed.

More impressively, he maintained his speed better than most on his subsequent long run with medium tyres, on a day when radio complaints about graining were perhaps even more prevalent than usual.

Rosberg was eventually pushed down to fourth place as Raikkonen emerged as Massa's closest rival, getting within 0.152s.

Fernando Alonso increased Ferrari's satisfaction with third place, albeit 0.4s off his team-mate.

Rosberg and Webber completed the top five, while Jenson Button showed encouraging form for McLaren again in sixth, ahead of Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel was only 10th, behind Force India duo Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta.

Sutil's session included a half-spin at Turn 8 in which his car arrived at the corner already broadside.

The German managed to stop the Force India on the asphalt run-off, unlike Sergio Perez in a near-identical incident minutes earlier. In that case the McLaren made it all the way over the gravel trap and lightly nudged the barriers before crawling back to the pits.

Perez, who had crashed in the pit entry at the end of practice one, later made it back out and was 11th.

His team-mate Button did not have a trouble-free afternoon either, pitting with a delaminated left-front tyre following a huge lock-up into the hairpin.

In the backmarker pack, Jules Bianchi impressed again as an early soft tyre run temporarily got him as high as 11th. He still ended up back in his habitual 19th place.

His Marussia team-mate Max Chilton had a horrible afternoon. The Briton stopped on track with oil pressure problems during the first runs, later rejoined and then had to park out on the circuit again.

Caterham's Giedo van der Garde was the other man to have adventures, catching a high-speed spin into Turn 1 before it could become a full rotation.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m35.340s 32 2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m35.492s + 0.152s 32 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.755s + 0.415s 30 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.819s + 0.479s 35 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.092s + 0.752s 31 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.432s + 1.092s 29 7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m36.496s + 1.156s 39 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m36.514s + 1.174s 32 9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m36.595s + 1.255s 33 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m36.791s + 1.451s 27 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.940s + 1.600s 16 12. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.963s + 1.623s 31 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.103s + 1.763s 22 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.206s + 1.866s 39 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.127s + 2.787s 34 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m38.185s + 2.845s 18 17. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.211s + 2.871s 32 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m38.276s + 2.936s 34 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m38.725s + 3.385s 29 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m39.271s + 3.931s 21 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m39.814s + 4.474s 27 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.227s + 7.887s 5

AUTOSPORT Chinese GP coverage:

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Author Matt Beer
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