Chinese GP: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton recovers to lead practice two

Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a late start to top Friday's second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix

Chinese GP: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton recovers to lead practice two

The Mercedes driver missed the first 25 minutes of the one-and-a-half hour session thanks to a suspension problem, which had also limited his running during free practice one.

But after a brief stint on the medium-compound Pirellis, during which he lapped a second-and-a-quarter off the pacesetters on equivalent rubber, Hamilton switched to softs at around the halfway mark.

Hamilton, who complained of understeer on his first run, blitzed the final sector of the lap, setting comfortably the quickest time of the afternoon in that part of the circuit to knock Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso off top spot by 0.141s.

Chinese Grand Prix gallery

Alonso had earlier relegated the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg from the top of the times by four tenths of a second, setting a particularly strong pace in the twisty middle sector of the lap.

After a dismal Bahrain GP weekend, it was a far stronger day for Alonso. He earlier topped the first free practice session and then set the fastest time during the medium-compound running at the start of the afternoon's running.

Rosberg had the potential to produce a better time and after setting the fastest time of all in sector one, yellow flags at the final corner cost him time, although it is not clear how much. He had to be content with third-fastest time.

Daniel Ricciardo beat Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to fourth place, with Felipe Massa making good on the Williams team's hopes for a stronger weekend in China in sixth overall.

All the post-session reaction on AUTOSPORT Live

Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest after a brief off at the final corner, with McLaren's Jenson Button eighth ahead of Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat.

Behind them, Force India failed to recapture its Bahrain form, with Nico Hulkenberg 11th fastest and almost a second-and-a-half off the pace, and Sergio Perez 15th.

Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado endured a fraught session, suffering off-track moments at the final and the first corner prior to crashing in the pit-entry shortly after the half-hour mark.

Both Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi and Marussia's Max Chilton spun during the session, with Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen among those to have off-track moments.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.315s 25 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.456s +0.141s 28 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.726s +0.411s 30 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m38.811s +0.496s 30 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.015s +0.700s 31 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m39.118s +0.803s 25 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.283s +0.968s 25 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.491s +1.176s 29 9. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.537s +1.222s 36 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.648s +1.333s 26 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m39.736s +1.421s 30 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.744s +1.429s 29 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.759s +1.444s 28 14. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m39.830s +1.515s 25 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m40.124s +1.809s 32 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.359s +2.044s 32 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.395s +2.080s 30 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m40.455s +2.140s 12 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m42.327s +4.012s 27 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.473s +5.158s 30 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m43.530s +5.215s 32 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m43.679s +5.364s 32 
shares
comments
Sauber: Formula 1's biggest teams have duty over cost cuts

Previous article

Sauber: Formula 1's biggest teams have duty over cost cuts

Next article

Chinese GP: Maldonado takes full blame for practice crash

Chinese GP: Maldonado takes full blame for practice crash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Edd Straw
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021