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Hamilton ends P2 on top after earlier problems, Ferrari closes gap

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Lewis Hamilton shrugged off the engine issues that saw him grind to a halt after just four laps in first practice to go quickest in the afternoon session, finishing just under four tenths ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, repeated his second place from the morning session.

After his morning woes Mercedes gout Hamilton back on track 40 minutes into the second session. He jumped to sixth fastest with his first flying lap but more problems struck when he lost telemetry a – problem that had also affected his first outing in the morning session.

He rejoined the action with 20 minutes left on the clock and soon went fastest with a time of 1:39,790 set on medium tyres.

That put him ahead of Raikkonen and also Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who after leading the morning session dropped back in the afternoon on the medium tyres runs after running quickest early in FP2 on the hard tyres. He finished the session 0.428s behind his team-mate.

Daniil Kvyat, who had spent the first part of the session garage-bound, impressed with the afternoon’s fourth fastest run but the good feeling at Red Bull resulting from his quali sim was short-lived as the Russian encountered engine problems.

It was a similarly difficult afternoon for team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who complained of problems with his car and then spent a lengthy period in the garage. He finished the session in 10th place.

Behind Kvyat came the Williams cars of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Sebastian Vettel seventh. The Ferrari man was one a number of drivers to be caught out by lack of grip in the extremely hot conditions and he spun on his qualifying simulation. He then chose not to complete another run on the medium tyre and for the rest of the session focused on longer runs.

Eighth place went Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, the Dutch teenager finishing 1.4s behind Hamilton but over a second faster than team-mate Carlos Sainz, who had eclipsed the youngster in the morning session. Ninth ahead of Ricciardo in FP2 was Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean reported a power loss during the session and eventually was sidelined 30 minutes before the end of the day’s running. He completed just seven laps. (FIA)

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