GP Giappone, prove libere venerdì–07/10/2016
Japanese Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg stays on top in practice two
Nico Rosberg again held the upper hand over Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.
After beating Hamilton by two tenths of a second in the first session at Suzuka, the polesitter for the last two races at this track then edged his Mercedes team-mate by just 0.072 seconds in practice two.
There was a minor scare for Rosberg 13 minutes into the session when he pulled out of his garage with wisps of smoke emerging from the back of his Mercedes.
As Rosberg then waited at the end of the pitlane to start off, the smoke became slightly thicker and billowed out for a few seconds, although there was little sign of any trouble thereafter.
Rosberg soon posted the fastest lap at that stage on a set of the medium-compound Pirelli tyres with a 1m33.758s, only to soon be beaten by 0.283s by Hamilton on the hard tyres.
Come the quicker laps on the soft-compound rubber, Rosberg set a 1m32.250s that was to remain unbeaten throughout the session.
Hamilton was quickest in the first sector soon after, but lost out in the second and third to miss out on top spot on the timesheet by a slender margin.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished third quickest, just over three tenths of a second off the pace, but half a second up on team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with both on soft tyres.
In between the pair was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who like Vettel was almost eight tenths adrift of Rosberg’s lead time.
As for Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, winner last time out in Malaysia, the Australian was forced to abort his quick lap on soft tyres due to a virtual safety car period.
That was prompted by Esteban Gutierrez parking his Haas at the side of the track approaching Degner after a turbo issue.
It was the second problem of the day for Haas as Romain Grosjean had suffered yet another brake problem in practice one just days after his retirement in Malaysia when a brake disc exploded.
Ricciardo was left to finish 12th quickest, almost two seconds down, but with his time of 1m34.150s having come on the hard tyres while all in front did a quick lap on softs.
Force India pair Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth and seventh fastest, with three tenths of a second separating the duo.
There was no repeat of the morning’s crashes, but Daniil Kvyat was involved in a high-speed spin coming out of the final corner, avoiding damage as he managed to catch the Toro Rosso in a full 360-degree pirouette.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.061s||0.811s||29|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.570s||1.320s||37|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.873s||1.623s||35|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.086s||1.836s||33|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.150s||1.900s||29|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.305s||2.055s||27|
Japanese GP: Nico Rosberg outshines Lewis Hamilton in practice one
Nico Rosberg beat Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in opening practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Championship leader Rosberg clocked a 1m32.431s to finish 0.215 seconds clear of his Mercedes team-mate, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel eight tenths back in third.
Hamilton and Rosberg were evenly matched in the first and third sectors, with the former losing the time in the middle sector.
Rosberg set the early place with a 1m33.751s, two tenths clear of Hamilton, and maintained that advantage when Mercedes fitted fresh softs later in the session.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, two tenths shy of his Ferrari team-mate, with the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fifth and sixth respectively and the best of those on mediums rather than softs.
Nico Hulkenberg outpaced Force India team-mate Sergio Perez for seventh with Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas completing the top 10.
Alonso snapped into a spin as he turned into the first part of Spoon, clouting the barrier hard and damaging his McLaren’s rear wing.
He recovered to the pits but ended the session with just 10 laps to his name after Honda found he had damaged the new lightweight engine exhaust.
Romain Grosjean also had an off-track excursion, skating off at the second Degner.
The Frenchman said on team radio "the brake doesn’t brake", having tapped the front wing on the barrier before reversing out and retreating to the pits.
Jolyon Palmer, who scored his first F1 point in Malaysia last week, finished bottom of the timesheet and ended his session early because of an electrical fault.
PRACTICE ONE RESULTS:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.112s||1.681s||23|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.379s||1.948s||26|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.530s||2.099s||28|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.767s||2.336s||30|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m35.446s||3.015s||23|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m35.672s||3.241s||27|