Nico Rosberg has continued to tame the tricky conditions in Brazil after finishing fastest during the second free practice session for this weekend’s season-ending grand prix at Interlagos.
The German driver finished ahead of compatriot Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Mark Webber with a best time of 1:27.306, underlining Mercedes’ impressive pace in the damp conditions ahead of what looks set to be the first wet grand prix of the year on Sunday.
After wet weather meant that there was little meaningful running during the first practice session on Friday morning in Brazil, conditions failed to improve ahead of the second session later in the day. Once again, the wet and intermediate tires were required at Interlagos, meaning that Pirelli was forced to postpone the running of the prototype compound until Saturday morning.
A number of drivers were caught out in the wet conditions despite being on the correct tire, as Charles Pic and Lewis Hamilton both had spins. However, Nico Rosberg looked set to finish fastest once again as he had in the morning, but conditions improved drastically with a few minutes remaining. This saw the German driver battle with both Red Bull drivers for top spot as the track continually improved in grip, but Mark Webber’s charge was curtailed by a KERS failure, meaning that he had to settle for third place despite a late improvement. Sebastian Vettel also failed to better Rosberg’s time, resulting in his compatriot finishing fastest for the second time in practice for the race.
Heikki Kovalainen continued to impress ahead of his final race for Lotus by finishing in fourth place, whilst Jean-Eric Vergne bounced back from a disappointing result in FP1 to finish sixth for Toro Rosso.
The teams will be hoping for some dry running on Saturday morning in order to evaluate their pace in the dry, but with rain set to hit Interlagos for the race on Sunday, it could prove to be meaningless.