Vettel set the initial pace with 1m 24.436s on soft tyres, with Rosberg going second on 1m 24.752s on mediums. Vettel then improved to 1m 24.444s before Hamilton’s 1m 23.732s on softs moved him to the fore.
Vettel later went back ahead on supersofts with 1m 23.254s, before Rosberg went faster on them with 1m 22.994s and Hamilton improved that to 1m 22.801s. Vettel remained third as Raikkonen backed him in fourth with a red-rubbered 1m 23.427s in the second SF16-H.
The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo moved into contention with fifth and sixth fastest times of 1m 23.732s and 1m 24.003s respectively, also on the supersofts.
After some early technical issues, Fernando Alonso surprised with the seventh fastest time of 1m 24.259s for the improving McLaren-Honda alliance, and with Jenson Button 10th on 1m 24.549s it was a good session for the Woking team.
But the times were very close in the midfield. Between the two McLaren drivers, Valtteri Bottas took eighth for Williams on 1m 24.299s, from Romain Grosjean on 1m 24.516s for Haas, and from Button to Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber in 15th place the gap was just 0.432s.
It was a troubled session for Ericsson’s team mate Felipe Nasr; after engine problems in FP1 he complained of loss of power this time. And after pushing team mate Pascal Wehrlein hard early on, Manor’s Esteban Ocon lost a lot of the session when his car rolled to a halt approaching the Lesmos. Felipe Massa's Williams was also delayed by a brake-by-wire issue, though he recovered to complete 20 laps.