Sergio Perez was only half a second behind in the Force India, showing there is no room for complacency in the Silver Arrows camp, followed by the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel was the lead Ferrari in fifth, separated from team mate Kimi Raikkonen by the second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was eighth fastest, ahead of Fernando Alonso in an impressive ninth for McLaren. Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado completed the top ten.
In contrast to the first session it was Hamilton who set the initial pace, with a best of 1m 42.524s on the soft Pirelli tyres to Rosberg’s 1m 42.899s. When they changed to the supersofts, however, Rosberg lapped in 1m 41.983s to head Hamilton on 1m 42.121s.
Perez kept them under pressure, however, with a lap of 1m 42.610s which put him third, fractionally ahead of Ricciardo on 1m 42.647s, Vettel on 1m 42.717s and Kvyat on 1m 42.798s. With Raikkonen next on 1m 42.849s from Hulkenberg on 1m 42.928s and Alonso on 1m 42.955s, the field was very tightly packed.
Williams only managed 11th and 12th, with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa on 1m 43.441s and 1m 43.506s respectively, but they do not usually show their full hand until Saturday and on last year’s showing should move up in FP3 and qualifying.
It was once again a relatively quiet session, the main drama being when Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso rolled to a halt with 30 minutes to go with an undisclosed mechanical problem.