Nico Rosberg, who was reprimanded by the stewards after going the wrong side of the bollard delineating the entry to the pit lane during FP1, took third place with 1m 27.616s, but said he had problems with rejected downshifts during his first run on the medium tyres. Kimi Raikkonen pursued Rosberg in the second Ferrari, though he complained mightily about a lap of grip on his way to a best lap of 1m 27.780s.
The session, held in ambient temperatures which began at 26 degrees Celsius and ended at 29 as the track temperature hit 50, was briefly halted after 14 minutes when Romain Grosjean’s Lotus lost its rear bodywork at speed on the main straight. The Frenchman made it back to the pits, and the debris was cleared away swiftly, but it was a while before he got going again.
It was another mixed day for Red Bull. Daniil Kvyat surprised with the fifth fastest time of 1m 27.943s, as team mate Daniel Ricciardo lost most of the session while Red Bull changed his engine. As he did in FP1, the Australian did one quick lap after getting out with five minutes left, and recorded 1m 29.098s to take 13th.
Max Verstappen was Toro Rosso’s leader in sixth with 1m 28.017s, while Jenson Button was a surprise seventh in the newly painted McLaren on 1m 28.494s. That placed him ahead of Valtteri Bottas’s Williams, the Finn managing 1m 28.525s to head Carlos Sainz on 1m 28.674s in the second Toro Rosso and Felipe Massa on 1m 28.712s in the other Williams.
Fernando Alonso complained that his ERS systems weren’t charging after going 11th on 1m 28.723s, while Grosjean’s drama saw him finish an unhappy 12th on 1m 29.086s.
Behind Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado was 14th in the second Lotus on 1m 29.217s, leaving the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson in 15th and 16th on 1m 29.333s and 1m 29.361s. Force India struggled for grip, and as a dissatisfied Nico Hulkenberg took 17th on 1m 29.601s, Sergio Perez chased him with 1m 29.707s.
As usual, Will Stevens was Marussia’s leader with 1m 31.929s, with Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear on 1m 32.751s.