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Hamilton quickest as Rosberg crashes


OK, going by the headlines, 'Hamilton quickest in opening session' it's business as usual, but the fact is that intermittent rain showers meant we had a stop-start session which didn't really tell us anything. Indeed, Sebastian Vettel didn't even post a time. Indeed, the session ended with a spin from Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo in the gravel trap.

The only other driver who didn't post a time was Carlos Sainz, who only completed one lap, whilst Jenson Button completed 16 laps.

Sadly, things don't look to me much better this afternoon. There has been further rain, and though this stopped, and the track began to dry - courtesy of the sun and high winds - it has now returned.

Air temperature is 16 degrees C, whilst the track temperature is 18 degrees.

The lights go green, but there is no sign of activity indeed, most drivers are out of their cars talking to their engineers.

Every now and then, an engine fires up, but still the track remains empty... and damp, the rain having stopped and the sun and wind slowly doing their work..

Finally, eighteen minutes into the session, Ricciardo heads out, on inters. The Australian stays out for a second lap and posts a 1:49.017. His best this morning was 30.875.

As Ricciardo heads back to the pits his place is taken by Kvyat and Rosberg.

The Russian subsequently posts 44.288 and the German 47.356.

Sainz is on track, the Spaniard needing to make up for lost time in FP1. Indeed, the Toro Rosso driver goes second with a 45.048.

Game over for Rosberg who loses the back end of his car under acceleration and clouts the wall at T7, dislodging his front wing. He continues, and tries to make his way back to the pits with his wing lodged beneath his front wheels. However, his team tells him to "pull over, stop, stop, stop". He obeys.

The Virtual Safety Car is deployed.

Just before that, Sainz had improved with a 42.902 to go quickest.

Mercedes, like several teams, is short of parts indeed, for that very reason it didn't use its new S-duct nose in FP1. However, in FP2 it was felt safe to use it...

The McLaren duo go fifth (Button) and sixth (Alonso), the Spaniard subsequently improving with a 41.694 to go quickest.

As Alonso consolidates his position with a 39.895, Hulkenberg posts 42.435 to go second. Almost halfway through the session, only ten drivers have posted times.

Perez goes second with a 41.256 as Vettel finally heads out.

Haryanto, who had an interesting morning, completes a seven lap run, posting a 55.514 to go eleventh, in the process.

Raikkonen goes fourth (41.319) and teammate Vettel sixth (43.729).

At 'half-time', it's: Sainz, Alonso, Ricciardo, Perez, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Button, Wehrlein, Vettel and Kvyat.

A 39.486 sees Raikkonen go quickest, as Vettel also improves (41.635). In the Sauber garage, Ericsson shows no sign of going out anytime soon.

Still very damp and no sign of drivers switching to slicks anytime soon.

Ricciardo improves to second (39.535), as Hamilton shown no sign of coming out. The Australian subsequently askes to pit, feeling that his inters are going off.

Hamilton, along with Grosjean, Ericsson, Nasr, Massa, Verstappen and Bottas, has yet to make an appearance this afternoon.

With 30 minutes remaining, Hamilton climbs into his car, even though it is thought to be raining again, certainly in some parts of the track.

As Grosjean goes thirteenth (46.009), Hamilton waits at the end of the pitlane before performing a practice start.

Going quickest in S2, Hamilton maintains the pace in S3, crossing the line at 38.841 to go quickest, by 0.645. Teammate Rosberg watches impassively from the pits, his day's work over, certainly as far as driving is concerned.

A strong lap from Hulkenberg sees the German go second (39.308), as teammate Perez runs wide in T1. Shortly after, as the rain is now falling, Gutierrez also runs wide.

Whilst most now watch from the comfort of their garages, a few brave souls remain out on track, including Ricciardo, Wehrlein and Haryanto, who has a trip across the grass at T1.

With 8 minutes remaining, and the rain still falling, the Williams duo head out. Both drivers execute a couple of exploratory laps before heading back to the pits.

The session ends with Hamilton quickest, ahead of Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Alonso, Button, Vettel, Perez and Kvyat.

Gutierrez is eleventh, ahead of Wehrlein, Grosjean, Haryanto and Rosberg. Magnussen, Palmer, Massa, Bottas, Ericsson, Nasr and Verstappen all failed to post a time.

A disappointing, inconclusive day, let's hope things improve tomorrow.

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