Hamilton stays on top in second practice

Hamilton stays on top in second practice

4 April 2014 – Lewis Hamilton remained fastest during Friday evening's floodlit second practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix. In another Mercedes one-two result, the Briton set a time of 1:34.325 to lead team-mate Nico Rosberg by a margin of 0.365 seconds, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso again completed the top three.

Having comfortably topped the timesheets during the first, day-time outing, Mercedes went on to strengthen its advantage as the artificial lights came on and temperatures dropped, pulling out a massive gap over the rest of the field on the Soft compound tyre, which is yielding around two seconds more than the Medium rubber this weekend.

Hamilton made the most of the cooler conditions en route to his low 1m34s effort, while Rosberg struggled with understeer in the sister Silver Arrows machine but was still comfortably quick enough to finish second. The latter is, however, under investigation by the stewards after appearing to impede Force India's Sergio Pérez.

Alonso wound up 0.670 seconds adrift of Rosberg and more than a second behind pace-setter Hamilton in third. The Spaniard's team-mate, Kimi Räikkönen, struggled with the handling of his car en route to a lowly 14th.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took fourth ahead of Williams rival Felipe Massa, who narrowly avoided contact with Sauber driver Esteban Gutiérrez when the Mexican appeared to weave in front of his car in the closing stages.

McLaren's Jenson Button finished sixth, just ahead of reigning quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Despite complaining of a lack of power behind the wheel of his Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat delivered the eighth fastest time of the session, with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen and Pérez rounding out the top ten places.

Aside from the blocking incidents, there were a selection of other dramatic moments; Max Chilton's Marussia snapped away under braking for Turn 4 with just over half an hour of the session to run, Adrian Sutil's Sauber ground to a halt moments later and Marcus Ericsson stopped his Caterham with five minutes left on the clock.

Lotus also hit trouble, with Romain Grosjean being forced to return to the pits after suffering a suspected misfire and team-mate Pastor Maldonado damaging his car when he flew dramatically over the Turn 4 exit kerbs.

Final practice at the Bahrain International Circuit begins at 3pm local time (GMT +3) on Saturday

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