Nico Rosberg made it two-for-two in practice for the German Grand Prix by topping the timesheets at Hockenheim for Mercedes on Friday afternoon.
2014 winner Rosberg topped the opening practice session on Friday morning at Hockenheim before underpinning Mercedes’ impressive pace by leading FP2, beating teammate Lewis Hamilton once again.
Rosberg posted a fastest lap time of 1:15.614 to beat Hamilton by almost four-tenths of a second on the super-soft tire, sending out a firm warning to his title rival ahead of qualifying on Saturday.
Hamilton had a scare after coming across Daniel Ricciardo while exiting the pits late on, but escaped unscathed, although not without telling his team and FIA race director Charlie Whiting over the radio that he felt the Red Bull driver had got too close for comfort.
Sebastian Vettel finished as the best of the rest once again for Ferrari, reducing the one second gap to Rosberg from P1 down to just six-tenths of a second.
Max Verstappen followed in P4 for Red Bull ahead of Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari. Nico Hulkenberg survived an early run over the curb at Turn 1 that sent him airborne to finish seventh ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Force India teammate Sergio Perez. Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 in the second McLaren.
Button’s session came to an early end after he reported an “irritation” while in the car, resulting in a visit to the medical centre for a check-up.
The session also saw a clamp down on track limits at Turn 1 after race control reported 93 incidents of running wide in FP1, prompting a resumption of the three-strike system seen in Hungary.
The on-track action at Hockenheim resumes on Saturday morning with FP3 on the NBC Sports app from 5am ET ahead of qualifying on NBCSN at 8am.