Lewis Hamilton topped a closely-contested second practice session for Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton – who holds a four-point championship lead over Sebastian Vettel – posted a time of 1:18.259 on the Soft tyres to wind up fastest, albeit slower than the benchmark set by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in FP1 in Barcelona.
Hamilton’s chance of improving on the Supersofts was scuppered by an error through Turn 7, as he dipped a wheel on the grass, but he still classified 0.133s faster than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo also clocked his best time on the yellow-banded rubber, while the next three drivers – Max Verstappen (who spun at Turn 2 on his long run), Vettel, and FP1 pacesetter Bottas – used the Supersoft compound.
The top five were covered by just 0.352s, with sixth-placed Kimi Raikkonen a couple of tenths further back, having endured a couple of setbacks.
Raikkonen went off through Turn 4 on his Supersoft hot lap – narrowly avoiding the barriers – and had to crawl back to the pits when his SF71H developed a power unit issue along the back straight.
Haas led the midfield contingent – despite Romain Grosjean spinning into the gravel at Turn 7 during the early laps.
Grosjean’s car was recovered to the pit lane and he was able to return to action. He edged team-mate Kevin Magnussen for seventh by a mere 0.064s, albeit the pair over seven-tenths down on Raikkonen. F1’s leading three teams were again significantly clear of the rest.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the lead McLaren driver in ninth position. While Force India Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 – before stopping on track due to a loose wheel.
Perez’s left-front wheel popped loose as he drove through the kink at Turn 7 with 10 minutes remaining in the session, and he crawled to a halt on the back straight, where marshals could safely remove his stricken VJM11.
Perez’s team-mate Esteban Ocon was 11th best, ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, whose best lap came on Medium tyres.
Renault had another low-key session. Nico Hulkenberg was in 13th position and home representative Carlos Sainz Jr. further adrift in 17th place.
Betwwen them are Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and the Sauber pairing of Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc. The latter surviving a trip through the Turn 4 gravel on his long run.
Brendon Hartley finished in 18th position, three seconds down on Hamilton and almost six-tenths behind closest rival Sainz Jr.
Williams again classified at the back. Lance Stroll took 19th position while team-mate Sergey Sirotkin, having sat out FP1 while Robert Kubica drove, was last.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 11, 2018