Nico Rosberg was fastest in second practice for this weekends United States Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver set his fastest time on the supersoft tyre to go .1 of a second faster than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Hamilton who lead during the morning session comfortably was unable to match the Red Bull and was .29 of a second behind Rosberg. But the advantage that the Mercedes had during FP1 has narrowed. Ricciardo was over half a second faster than the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
Both Mercedes and Red Bull look to be close on their long runs once again. This could mean that the race between the two teams could be down to their race strategy.
Max Verstappen was fifth in the Red Bull just .08 behind Vettel. Which puts the whole battle between the two teams will be close as Mercedes will turn the wick up in FP3 and qualifying.
Vettel told Sky Sports “They were very quick but it’s only Friday. We had a tough day – the Ferrari you saw today is not the Ferrari you will see tomorrow.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told the BBC “Ricciardo has had a great day. His short-run pace has been very strong, his long-run pace has been strong.”
“Mercedes are favourites going into the grand prix but if we can get within 0.1secs or so we can put a bit of pressure on in the race.”
Nico Hulkenberg who will move to Renault next season was .06 of a second faster than team-mate Sergio Perez. Hulkenberg had showed the Force India had pace in the early part of the session, the team are hoping this weekend they can move further ahead of Williams in the championship.
Following a disappointing home race for Honda, the McLaren appears to be performing better. Jenson Button was eighth with less than a tenth between him and team-mate Fernando Alonso in ninth.
Kimi Raikkonen was tenth. Raikkonen had been the first onto the supersoft tyres but the Fin made several errors on his fast lap.
There were a few moments for some drivers Manor’s Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Renault’s Jolyon Palmer spun again, in Turn 8, and Rosberg went off briefly in Turn 19. Sainz finished eleventh, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen twelfth and Sabuer’s Felipe Nasr thirteenth.
Several drivers were complaining about their tyres were going off towards the end of their long runs.