Nico Rosberg was fastest in the second practice for this weekends Hungarian Grand Prix after Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the session.
Hamilton dominated the morning session with him having a clear lead over Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. But fifteen minutes into the session the world champion hit the kerb locking up and sending him into a spin to the wall at turn eleven.
Before his crash Hamilton appeared to just edged Rosberg on the soft Pirelli tyres in their early runs, when just a thousandth of a second separated them.
Hamilton’s crash was big with Mercedes being forced to strip his car for checks and the 31-year old being required to attend the track medical centre for a check-up, but was given the all clear.
This allowed Rosberg to better his team-mates time setting a 1:20.435 on the supersoft tyre. So rapid was the German’s pace in fact, that it was just two seconds off the all-time lap record in Budapest.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel were both within a second of Rosberg with Max Verstappen not far behind. Red Bull and Ferrari both managed to close the gap that Mercedes had during the first session. Ricciardo was over half a second behind.
Max Verstappen but ahead of the second Ferrari car of Kimi Raikkonen with the Dutch teenager being fourth fastest. But the time Hamilton set earlier separated the two. It wasn’t a plain sailing day for Vettel who early on complained of “sync” problems in the SF16-H’s gearbox.
His 1m 21.348s best was later beaten by on-form Ricciardo when Red Bull finally switched to the softest tyre compound. While Ricciardo was .5 of a second behind. Fernando Alonso was seventh ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.
Force India pair Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez completed the top 10, both just over two seconds down.
It was a difficult session for Williams who have brought a new floor and with three different variations of front wing which they tested at Silverstone but they continued to struggle on track.
There were reprimands for Valtteri Bottas for failing to keep to the right of a marker cone on the pit lane entry, as was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz for crossing the pit entry line. Sainz later spun with a rear-end problem at Turn 2, moments after Felipe Nasr’s Sauber had stopped with undisclosed technical problems.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer spent most of his session in the pits because of a fuel pressure problem but managed a late run finishing the session nineteenth.