Nico Rosberg went quickest in second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix after team-mate Lewis Hamilton crashed out early in the session.
Hamilton was on his fourth lap of the 90-minute session when he lost control as he headed into the 210km/h Turn 11. He spun across the run-off area and hit the barriers side-on. Surprisingly there was little outward damage done and Hamilton was able to get going again. He nursed his car back the pit lane but Mercedes quickly reported that it would need to be stripped back and that the3 champion would take no further part in the session.
It was left to Rosberg to carry the Mercedes standard during the session and the German obliged, using supersoft tyres on his quick run to set a session-best time of 1:20.435. That was almost a second quicker than Hamilton’s table –topper from FP1 and 1.8s quicker than Hamilton’s pole position time of last year.
However, while Mercedes had enjoyed a 1.6s advantage over closest challenger Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari in the morning session, the Silver Arrows’ advantage was cut in the afternoon by Red Bull Racing, with 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo getting to within six tenths of a second of Rosberg’s time. In the morning Red Bull opted to only run with soft compound tyres but in the afternoon the team bolted on supersofts to edge closer to Mercedes.
After finishing third in the morning session, Vettel repeated the placing in the afternoon, setting a best time of 1:21.348 31 to split the Red Bulls, with Max Verstappen fourth, four tenths of a second behind Vettel.
Hamilton was fifth fastest, his opening lap being good enough to second him a placing just under two tenths of a second behind Verstappen but ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
McLaren, meanwhile, repeated its positions from the morning session, with Fernando Alonso seventh and Jenson Button eighth. The session wasn’t without issue for the team, however, with Alonso requiring a power unit change on his car in advance of the session after Honda noticed an “anomaly” on the data coming from it’s powerplant.
In the morning session P9 was taken by Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez. In the afternoon Perez again finished 10th, but this time Sainz was bounced out of ninth by Perez’s team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Sainz, meanwhile, dropped to P13 behind Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez and Williams’ Felipe Massa.
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.435 45
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:21.030 36
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.348 31
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:21.770 35
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.960 4
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:22.058 46
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:22.328 21
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1:22.387 34
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:22.449 41
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:22.653 38
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:22.673 38
12 Felipe Massa Williams 1:22.681 39
13 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:22.689 24
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.773 38
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:22.864 28
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:22.948 43
17 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:23.347 41
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:23.437 36
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:23.528 12
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:23.986 31
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:23.992 22
22 Rio Haryanto Manor 1:24.265.36.
eom/FIA press release