Lewis Hamilton once again was fastest during the second practice session for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Europe in Baku. The world champion increased the gap over his team-mate by .3 of a second to top the session by almost .7.
However his team-mate Nico Rosberg was unable to improve in the closing stages after his car gearbox got stuck in fourth gear. Sergio Perez put in a good performance to go third fastest.
The circuit which is making its debut certainly plays to the hands of the Mercedes powered teams with Valtteri Bottas’s Williams splitting Perez from his team-mate Felipe Massa. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was sixth ahead of sister team Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Mercedes duo traded times through much of the session, Hamilton set the first time to which Rosberg responded. When Hamilton tried to respond Hamilton sild over the kerb at Turn 16 after setting purple first and second sector times – he ended up four-tenths down on his previous best
Ferrari had another difficult afternoon with Sebastian Vettel only managing eighth fastest and almost two seconds off the pace. It wasn’t much better for Kimi Raikkonen who was thirteenth and forced to abandon his lap after both cars ran into problems with their cars’ energy recovery systems (ERS).
“The speed wasn’t quite there, so we need to have a look and see to be in better position tomorrow. It’s not nice, it’s not good news [to be two seconds off the pace].” Vettel told BBC News
“Some of it we can explain, and other bits we need to wait and see what tomorrow brings. It’s been a tricky day for us, not entirely clean when you look a raw pace.”
McLaren were able to get one car into the top ten with Jenson Button going ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who separated Button from team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Marcus Ericsson missed most of the session after he ended an engine change after problems with the exhaust this morning. But still was faster than his Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr.
A number of drivers went off at Turn eight were ironically, Sainz followed suit later on while chasing the Ferrari. Gutierrez brushed the wall there, too, with his Haas’s right-front wheel, and then went off at Turn 15.
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