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.