Hamilton hits back to finish fastest in FP2 for Spanish GP

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MONTMELO – Lewis Hamilton responded to the pace shown by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg early on Friday by finishing fastest in the second free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The defending Formula 1 world champion posted a fastest lap time of 1:26.852 to finish four-tenths of a second clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timesheets on Friday afternoon as Mercedes once again proved its pace.

The second session saw the teams split their running between short qualifying simulations and long runs with high fuel, but it was Hamilton who made the best of the hot conditions to finish as the fastest driver.

Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, was forced to settle for third place in the final classification, finishing over three-quarters of a second behind the Briton. Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top four for Ferrari as the Italian team stepped up after a disappointing first practice.

Red Bull endured another difficult practice session as Daniel Ricciardo was unable to get out on track due to a problem with his power unit, forcing the team to put the car up on jacks for most of the session. Daniil Kvyat enjoyed a more fruitful FP2 though, finishing fifth ahead of Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen.

There was also trouble for Lotus during the session as Romain Grosjean lost his engine cover whilst driving down the main straight. The bodywork was left strewn across the start/finish straight, prompting a short red flag period to allow the marshals to recover it.

Jenson Button showed signs of a revival at McLaren to finish seventh in FP2, two-tenths clear of teammate Fernando Alonso in 11th place. After such a difficult start to the year, the British team appears to finally be on the cusp of a breakthrough in Barcelona.

At the front though, Mercedes remains in control of proceedings, it appears, and Hamilton will be hoping to carry his FP2 form through to qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday as he bids to extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship.

For full details on NBC Sports’ broadcasting of the Spanish Grand Prix, click here.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.