Hamilton vrooms at Barcelona tune-up
Defending champion and current leader Lewis Hamilton regained his almost customary place at the top of the timesheets on Friday afternoon when he outpaced Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the second free practice session ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Driving with his usual elan and precision in a gusty wind at the Circuit de Catlunya, the two-time world champion clocked a best lap of one minute and 26.852 seconds to finish almost half a second clear of nearest rival four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
Rosberg, given a reprimand during the morning for infringing the pit-lane entry lines as he worked his way to the fastest lap in that session, wound up seven-tenths of a second back in third place.
The reprimand was his first since last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who complained of boredom during a radio conversation in the closing stages, was fourth quickest in the second Ferrari, endorsing a growing impression that the Italian team is the only one capable of mounting a serious challenge to Mercedes’ continuing domination, especially if it can outperform the champions in tyre-wear management.