Rosberg tops second practice, as Vettel and Perez tangle

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Nico Rosberg was fastest for Mercedes in second practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Rosberg posted a lap of 1:34.647 on the soft tyre during an early qualifying simulation to top the 90-minute session, beating his team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just a tenth of a second.

The reigning champion set the early pace on the medium tyres, but had to settle for second on the timesheets after a lock-up at Turn 7 on his flying lap on the softer compound rubber.

Kimi Raikkonen, the fastest man in opening practice, was third overall for Ferrari, half a second shy of Rosberg’s session topping time, but ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who ran wide at the final corner on his flying lap.

The German caused a brief red flag in the closing stages after he tagged Sergio Perez as he exited the pitlane at Turn 1, damaging the front wing on the Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth for Williams – three-thousandths of a second shy of Vettel – ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus.

Felipe Nasr ended the day eight fastest for Sauber, while Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten for Red Bull and Williams respectively.

Marcus Ericsson was 11th in the second Sauber, with Fernando Alonso 12th in a mixed session for McLaren-Honda, after Jenson Button stopped on track early on.

The 2009 champion, who failed to set a time in the opening session after a spin at Turn 1, managed just a single flying lap in the evening before he was forced to park the McLaren on the back straight.

While he did manage to return to the track late on, his earlier issues seemingly resolved, he failed to improve on his earlier time.

Romain Grosjean returned for Lotus after making way for Jolyon Palmer in the opening session and was 13th fastest, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India.

Max Verstappen placed 16th in the second of the Toro Rossos, with Perez 17th after his clash with Vettel.

The two Manors of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi were split in 18th and 20th by McLaren’s Jenson Button.

This report first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

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