• Bahrain Grand Prix - FP2

Rosberg easily clear of the field in FP2

ESPNF1 Staff
April 20, 2012

Nico Rosberg was comfortably quickest in second practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, beating the Red Bull pair of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel by nearly half a second.

Having set the quickest time on medium tyres, Vettel was the first of the front-runners on to the softs but was only able to improve by 0.114s. The Mercedes of Rosberg, however, found a lot more time on the soft tyre, including half a second in the final sector which is made up of two corners and two long straights. His best time of 1:32.816 put him 0.446s clear of Webber, who in turn was another 0.25s ahead of Vettel.

The two McLarens were unable to get close to Rosberg's time when they lapped later in the session, by which time the track temperature had dropped significantly compared to when the earlier laps were completed. Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest with a 1:33.747 and Jenson Button sixth; 1.4s slower than Rosberg.

Michael Schumacher split the McLarens and looked to be on a quick lap having set the fastest first sector on soft tyres, 0.2s quicker than Rosberg. In sector two he hit traffic, however, and having backed off the best of his tyres had gone.

On long-run pace the field looked a lot more closely matched. A comparison of the opening lap of a stint on soft tyres showed Red Bull to be a few tenths quicker than McLaren and Mercedes, but only half a second covering Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button and Rosberg.

Ferrari's struggles with traction continued but Fernando Alonso was still able to set the eighth fastest time. Ferrari won't be the only team to face problems with the tyres on Sunday, however, with all teams experiencing high levels of degradation.

The story at the start of the session centred around two cars not on the track - the Force India's of Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. Both sat out FP2 as the team was working to prepare the cars for Saturday in order to leave the circuit before nightfall, but it insists it is committed to racing on Sunday.