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Vettel leads the way in FP2

NEWS STORY
19/06/2015

Ahead of today's second practice session, the air temperature is 16 degrees C and the track temperature is 24 degrees. It has clouded over since FP1 and it looks highly likely that we're going to see some rain over the next ninety minutes.

Nico Rosberg was quickest this morning, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Nasr.

Other than the numerous offs, with turns 1 and 8 claiming the most victims, the main talking point is the penalties facing Kvyat and Fernando Alonso.

All three are using new power units, and therefore face a drop of at least ten places. In the Spaniard's case it could be even more as he has had the whole kit and caboodle replaced. As if that wasn't bad enough, for a while it looked as though it might get a whole lot worse, the McLaren losing power at the end of its install lap. Thankfully, the issue was subsequently traced and resolved allowing Alonso to complete nine more laps and post a time.

No such 'luck' for Sebastian Vettel however, the German side-lined by an early gearbox problem.

With the rain threatening, we can expect to see action from the start and an early switch to the option (supersoft) rubber, much like Canada.

Having 'handed' his car over to Jolyon Palmer this morning, Romain Grosjean gets his first taste of the Red Bull Ring this afternoon.

The lights go green and Ericsson leads the way, followed by Vettel, Merhi, Nasr and Hamilton.

Ericsson posts 17.877 to get things underway, but this is soon eclipsed by Vettel who stops the clock at 13.584. Moments later Raikkonen posts 11.259.

Having posted 17.503 on his first lap, next time around Hamilton improves to 11.155, as the cameras pick up on Raikkonen's Ferrari sending a shower of sparks into the air as it bottoms on its climb up the hill to T1.

Raikkonen ups the ante with a 10.298 with teammate Vettel (10.944) making it s Ferrari 1-2. Subsequently, Rosberg and Hamilton go 2-3, the German posting 10.368.

Just ten minutes into the session everyone has posted a time, bar the Williams duo who have yet to venture out.

In quick succession, Kvyat, Merhi and Verstappen run wide in T1.

Having missed much of this morning's running, Alonso was unable to try the revised nose and front and rear wings brought here for him by McLaren. However, he intends making full use of them this afternoon.

Turn 1 continues to collect victims, Grosjean, Sainz and Rosberg the latest.

A 10.137 sees Hamilton go quickest, as Verstappen goes fifth (10.950), ahead of Maldonado, Kvyat and Sainz. Shortly after Grosjean leapfrogs the Dutch youngster with a 10.767.

The top four are covered by just 0.574s.

Alonso is unhappy with his engine settings, the Spaniard claiming that he needs more than one lap to reach full charge on his power unit.

Sainz is completely baffled by T1, the Spaniard complains that as soon as he hits the brake he locks up. He is told to pit.

Back in the Toro Rosso garage, Verstappen reveals; "I've got a headache!" Elsewhere, Hamilton is told that the threat of rain is diminishing.

Bottas goes fifth (10.746) and Massa eighth (11.011) as Williams finally opts to join in the fun.

Alonso improves to eleventh (11.517), suggesting that Honda and his team's improvements might finally be working.

With an hour remaining, Raikkonen is the first driver to switch to options. He crosses the line at 9.860, to go quickest, his previous best having been 10.298. Merhi has also made the switch, as has Ericsson.

After a slow lap, Raikkonen is back on the pace going quickest in S2 however, a mistake in T8 means he fails to improve. Ericsson, meanwhile, posts 10.744 to go fifth.

The Lotus duo are next to switch to the softer rubber, as Raikkonen now runs wide after the mother of all lock-ups in T1.

Posting PBs in all three sectors, Maldonado stops the clock at 10.430 to go fifth, demoting Ericsson.

All eyes on the Mercedes duo as they make the switch to the red banded tyres.

That lock-up has hurt Raikkonen, his right-front tyre almost down to the canvas. "My right-front tyre is done," he tells the team. "We cannot do the long run with these". Indeed he can't.

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