Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2
18 April 2014 – Lewis Hamilton returned Mercedes to the top of the timesheets during second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday afternoon. The Briton delivered a time of 1:38.315 on the Soft compound tyres to lead Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 0.141 seconds, while team-mate Nico Rosberg completed the top three.
The order continued where it left off this morning during the early Medium tyre runs, with Alonso leading from Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo.
But when the switch to the Option rubber arrived, Hamilton – who missed the opening half an hour of the session due to suspension tweaks – surged to the front of the field in his Silver Arrows machine.
Hamilton, however, remained unhappy with the balance of his car and pitted in the closing minutes after a frustrated radio message, suggesting that the problems he had been experiencing are yet to be fully resolved.
Alonso, who set the pace this morning, wound up second to continue an encouraging start for his Ferrari team, just ahead of Rosberg and the Red Bulls of Ricciardo and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Rosberg had the potential to go faster, but hit yellow flags after going fastest of all in the first sector.
Felipe Massa was the quickest of the Williams drivers in sixth position, edging out former team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, who bounced back from his morning issues to place seventh in the second of the Ferraris.
Jenson Button again finished as the lead McLaren driver, albeit it over a second adrift of Hamilton's pace-setting Mercedes, while Lotus's Romain Grosjean and Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat completed the top ten.
There were numerous off track excursions during the 90-minute session, the most notable involving Pastor Maldonado, who lost control of his car and slid into the barriers while attempting to return to the pit lane.
Marussia driver Max Chilton and Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi both endured spins but avoided car damage.
Saturday's final practice session at Shanghai gets underway at 11am local time (GMT +8)