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Rosberg leads the way in FP2

NEWS STORY
17/04/2015

Nico Rosberg edges out teammate Lewis Hamilton in FP2 but Ferrari clearly has strong pace on the longer runs.

Ahead of today's second practice session in Sakhir, the air temperature is 30 degrees C, whilst the track temperature is 36 degrees.

With this morning's session taking place four hours earlier than Sunday's race start time, at which point the sun will be setting and temperatures much cooler, times, indeed running, was fairly irrelevant.

As a result there was little action from the Mercedes duo, who consequently finished way down the timesheets, indeed, little running period.

Kimi Raikkonen was quickest and though side-lined for much of the session with a sensor issue, teammate Sebastian Vettel was second.

Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets for a short while and though it was inevitable that he would slip down the order, at session end he remained seventh quickest. No such luck for Jenson button however, the Briton forced to watch almost the entire session from the pits after a suspected engine issue forced him to spin at the end of his first lap.

Unusually - for a Friday - Valtteri Bottas was third quickest, with both Toro Rossos also well up the timesheets.

Always dusty here, grip hasn't been helped by a sandstorm earlier in the week, consequently there were numerous lock-ups and offs, Turns 1 and 10 proving particularly problematic. Needless to say, Pastor Maldonado was up to his usual tricks.

With this session getting underway at the same time as Sunday's race begins (18:00), and with the option rubber finally making an appearance, we should begin to get a better idea of the pecking order.

That said, this morning, discounting the Ferraris, the next ten cars were covered by just 0.452s.

Tyre options this weekend are medium and soft. There are two DRS zones, the first on the back straight, between Turns 10 and 11, and the second on the pit straight.

As the sun slow0ylt sets and the circuit's own lighting system kicks into gear the lights at the end of the pitlane turn green, Massa the first driver to emerge.

As the Brazilian begins his first flying lap, he is joined by Bottas, Raikkonen, Perez and Hulkenberg. In the McLaren garage mechanics are working on Button's car.

Massa posts a 38.541 with Bottas posting 38.540 moments later. Wonderful to see two drivers, in the same car, matched so evenly.

Raikkonen posts 44.658, the sparks from the bottom of the car looking spectacular in the fading light.

Next time around the Finn improves to 37.537 despite a couple of mistakes. Elsewhere, Button climbs into his car and Verstappen complains of "not enough power".

As Bottas (38.314) and Massa (38.344) both improve, Rosberg goes quickest in S1.

A big, big lock-up for Verstappen, as Rosberg runs wide at T11. While he can only manage 40.006 (11th), Vettel posts 37.088 to go quickest only to be leapfrogged by Hamilton (36.795).

Hamilton runs wide in T1, bringing out the yellow flags, as Maldonado improves to sixth (34.435).

Vettel is quickest in S3 but remains 0.100s off Hamilton's pace. Rosberg posts 38.054 to improve to fourth.

Oh dear, more problems for Button as the Briton pulls to the side of the track at T11. A dreadfully frustrating day for the McLaren driver. That said, at least he's posted a time, albeit 2.4s off the pace.

Rosberg improves to third with a 37.192, ahead of Nasr, Raikkonen, Bottas, Massa and Alonso.

Twenty minutes into the session neither Red Bull has made an appearance, possibly part of the engine-saving plan. That said, Kvyat leaves his garage and heads down the pitlane.

Rosberg complains that photographers at the entrance to the pitlane are too close to the track.

As Kvyat goes sixth overall, having gone quickest in S3, mechanics swarm over Verstappen's car.

Just twenty-five minutes into the session, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg are the first to switch to options. The Finn, currently fifth, goes quickest with a 35.512. He's improved by around 2s despite a couple of mistakes on what was a scruffy lap.

Hulkenberg, also on softs, complains that his car lack drivability coming out of T1. Nonetheless, he improves from 39.246 to 36.805.

Vettel, now on softs, goes quickest in S1, finally crossing the line at 35.277 to take second, having made a mistake in the final corner. Teammate Raikkonen improves with a 35.174.

On his second flying lap Vettel cannot get anywhere near the pace of his previous lap, though that could be in part due to his earlier mistake.

Hamilton (softs) mysteriously backs off as Ericsson goes third with a 36.148.

Ricciardo has finally posted a time, the Australian going seventh with a 37.134.

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