This time it was Williams giving chase to the Silver Arrows, with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa third and fourth respectively, though with a half-second deficit they were nowhere near as close to the world champions as Red Bull had been in FP1.
At Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo edged ahead of team mate Max Verstappen to finish fifth, while Sebastian Vettel led Ferrari’s charge, narrowly pipping partner Kimi Raikkonen for seventh. Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was ninth, with the McLaren of Jenson Button completing the top ten.
Once again, Hamilton set the early pace on the medium Pirelli tyres s with 1m 13.157s against Rosberg’s 1m 13.355s, then bettered the German again when they switched to the softs. Rosberg went fastest on 1m 12.301s, before Hamilton replied with 1m 12.271s. Interestingly, the three fastest sector times belonged to Bottas, Rosberg and Massa, indicating that Hamilton had more to come.
It was Bottas who took third, with 1m 12.761s, a fraction ahead of Massa’s 1m 12.789s on his last appearance in front of his home crowd, as Ricciardo and Verstappen had to be content with fifth and sixth for Red Bull, with 1m 12.828s and 1m 12.928s respectively.
Ferrari ran the softs this time - once Raikkonen had done a few laps on the hard-compound tyres - with 1m 13.002s for Vettel and 1m 13.047s for the Finn. Raikkonen was investigated after the session, together with Carlos Sainz, for an incident in which they appeared to get in each other’s way between Turns 11 to 15, before the Ferrari driver overtook the Toro Rosso pilot on the outside of the final corner and then cut across the front of the Spaniard to go into the pits. Stewards deemed no further action necessary.
Hulkenberg jumped up to ninth for Force India with 1m 13.299s, as the McLaren of Button rounded out the top 10 with 1m 13.440s, just ahead of team mate Alonso’s 1m 13.572s. All of these times were set on the soft rubber.
It was not a happy session for McLaren, however, as Alonso was instructed to stop his car as he reached Turn 3, and to “jump clear, please,” due to an ERS problem. After using a handy rock to prevent his MP4-31 from rolling away, the former champion watched the final third of the session glumly from the side of the track. Later he was invited to a nearby TV cameraman’s lair - and to even operate the camera - so he could keep an eye on what was happening around the course.
Elsewhere, Marcus Ericsson spun his Sauber early on at Bico de Pato, Romain Grosjean complained of loss of power and strange handling on his Haas, and Pascal Wehrlein said his Manor was nothing like as good as it had been in the first session.
WATCH: Raikkonen and Sainz tussle in Brazil
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