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Mercedes retain advantage, Ferrari close the gap – FP2 Report

Spanish Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton remained fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with Ferrari closing the gap in the second free practice session.

With teams turning up their cars for the afternoon practice session, Mercedes’ one second advantage was reduced to 0.3 of a second, with Hamilton leading Bottas, Raikkonen and Vettel.

In a session where many drivers were struggling for grip and balance, there were off-track excursions for the likes of Bottas, Vettel, Max Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz.

The top four were covered by half-a-second, whilst Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg were the only other drivers to finish within one second of Hamilton’s benchmark.

Renault completed a strong FP2 session with Jolyon Palmer taking eighth place ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, who briefly brought out the red flags when he ran wide at turn nine and lost bodywork.

Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Esteban Ocon finished just outside the top ten, with Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Sergio Perez (Force India) all just less than two seconds off the pace.

Kevin Magnussen was fifteenth in the second Haas car, ahead of Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and Lance Stroll (Williams).

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was sidelined with technical problems for much of the session, but was able to eventually set a soft-tyre lap good enough for eighteenth, ahead of the second Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein.

Fernando Alonso was once again at the foot of the time sheets after spending much of the session in the pits thanks to an engine change following this morning’s troubles.

To view the full results of the session, click here.


Aron Day

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Also working in the Irish Tech industry.

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