Nico Rosberg was fastest in the second weather interrupted practice session for this weekend Austrian Grand Prix. The world championship leader set his fastest lap to go .019 seconds faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was third.
Rosberg set his fastest time on the supersoft tyre before the rain came less than ten minutes into the session. This meant Hamilton had to wait until the latter part of the session to set his best time.
When Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fourth after having a spin. He said on team radio “I have no idea what happened. I lost control when hitting the brakes.”
Vettel locked up his Ferrari which sent him spinning off after locking up his tyres sending him off into the gravel. The rain poured down which affective halted the session for half an hour. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were first to venture out after the shower.
Ricciardo had been third fastest before the rain came ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who had a big off at turn five into the gravel. Verstappen didn’t manage to get a dry lap in after the rain off in FP1 damaging his car.
The pair went out on the intermediates with the track being slippery Riccardo suffered opposite locking as he pulled out the garage. The teams learnt that the conditions were still difficult so didn’t venture out for a while. The question was when it would be best to switch to the soft rubber,
Conditions are expected to be difficult for the rest of the weekend. Hamilton led the change while Rosberg focused on long runs which the brit couldn’t use to his advantage to push him off the top spot. But conditions began to improve in the closing half hour as the humidity helped dry the track
Raikkonen was the first to show the track had improved by jumping up the times to eighth fastest followed by Hamilton. But the Brit had to back off after being caught by Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez.
Hamilton’s next lap looked better but he chose to abort going alongside the pit wall before getting back up to speed, and Rosberg likewise cut short a better lap after setting the best first and second sector times.
Mercedes end the day fastest when the weather played havoc with running but teams remain to keep their eyes on the weather with more rain epected for qualifying tomorrow.