Nico Rosberg, 1m 39.293s, P15/1m 34.647s, P1
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 39.532s, P16/1m 34.762s, P2
After deciding only to run one set of medium tyres per car in FP1, Mercedes got going in FP2. Hamilton was fastest on the medium tyre and would have been on the soft too, but for a costly lock-up in Turn 8 which cost him more than the 0.115s by which Rosberg subsequently beat him to fastest time. But though the silver cars had good pace over one lap, both drivers said they thought that Ferrari’s long-run pace was “dangerous.”
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 37.827s, P1/1m 35.174s, P3
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 38.029s, P2/1m 35.277s, P4
Ferrari led FP1, with Raikkonen heading Vettel after the German lost most of the session as the team investigated a loss of power. In the afternoon they led again, but were overtaken as Mercedes hit their stride and were fastest on both the medium and the soft tyre. The gap on the former was only a tenth of a second however, and half a second on the latter, but the red cars’ race pace was very strong and the team believe they will be a strong factor in the race.
Late in FP2 Vettel had a brake problem as he came into Turn 1 and could not avoid tapping Perez’s Force India; that damaged his own front left wing endplate and caused a brief red flag as debris was cleared up, but neither driver was penalised after a stewards’ enquiry. Raikkonen, however, was reprimanded for leaving the pits in a potentially dangerous manner.
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 38.390s, P3/1m 35.280s, P5
Felipe Massa, 1m 38.790s, P10/1m 35.884s, P10
Williams said they hit every target they had for the day, but while Bottas said he was happy with the way his FW37 felt, Massa thought his still needed some work on the balance.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 38.455s, P5/1m 35.449s, P6
Daniil Kvyat, 1m 38.661s, P9/1m 35.883s, P9
Both drivers said they had reasonable sessions, but seemed more concerned that wind tomorrow could blow sand on to the track.
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 38.842s, P12/1m 35.474s, P7
Romain Grosjean (pm only), 1m 36.334s, P13
Jolyon Palmer (am only), 1m 39.283s, P14
Maldonado had a spate of off-track moments, as did Grosjean once he got his E23 Hybrid back in the afternoon, but the Venezuelan got going well in FP2 to boost the team with a solid seventh place. Palmer again did a strong job in his second FP1 outing.
Felipe Nasr, 1m 38.628s, P8/1m 35.793s, P8
Marcus Ericsson, 1m 39.534s, P17/1m 36.148s, P11
Both drivers had a few problems with braking and stability, but worked through them and ended the day feeling quietly encouraged that pre-event preparation had paid off.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 38.598s, P7/1m 36.191s, P12
Jenson Button, No time, P20/1m 39.209s, P19
Alonso looked quite good at times, but McLaren also did on Friday in China, which leads one to suspect low fuel loads. Button had a terrible day, with his car spinning on his first flying lap of FP1 due to a battery problem, and later stopping early on in FP2 when his engine was shut down as a precaution.
Carlos Sainz, 1m 38.447s, P4/1m 36.471s, P14
Max Verstappen, 1m 38.504s, P6/1m 36.917s, P16
Both drivers complained about their brakes, and Verstappen went so far as to have his replaced during FP2. They later said they had reasonable, if not outstanding, days.
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 39.187s, P13/1m 36.805s, P15
Sergio Perez, 1m 39.793s, P11/1m 37.062s, P17
Force India looked a little better at times than of late, but the VJM08 is still paying the price for its late debut. Perez had an incident with Vettel at the end of FP2, for which Vettel later apologised.
Will Stevens, 1m 42.973s, P18/1m 39.131s, P18
Roberto Merhi, 1m 44.265s, P19/1m 40.592s, P20
Once again both drivers enjoyed trouble-free sessions, and that in particular helped Stevens to cut the gap to rivals quite significantly. Merhi, meanwhile, stayed out of bother as he learned another new circuit.