British GP 2016, Practice 2: Contrasting fortunes at Mercedes
Hamilton doubles up on Friday at Silverstone, as Rosberg suffers technical woe and doesn't take to track; Red Bull ahead of Ferrari as RB12 matches Mercedes on long runs; Alonso sixth for McLaren
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 08/07/16 7:55pm
Lewis Hamilton completed the perfect start to his British GP weekend by topping Practice Two, but Nico Rosberg is playing catch up at Silverstone after missing all of Friday afternoon's running.
While Hamilton set the pace for the second successive session at his home race, Rosberg was left watching the action from the Mercedes garage after technical problems struck his car.
The German, who leads his team-mate by 11 points in the title race, was initially delayed by a water leak before an unspecified problem on his W07 then required checks which couldn't be completed before the chequered flag fell.
Rosberg now heads into the weekend without any long-running around Silverstone, although he will have access to his team-mate's data and Saturday morning's final practice to try and negate the disadvantage.
"We've pulled the car apart to take a look," Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe told Sky F1. "There was a water leak and then in the end we decided to take a cautious route because there was some potential to do damage [to] the engine - although this was a Friday engine and not one we are planning to use in a race again this year.
"This isn't great for Nico but in terms of general homework Lewis did a fantastic job and we have good homework data done. Nico will benefit from the running Lewis has done and I'm sure Nico will be dialled in again by the start of Practice Three."
Hamilton was left untroubled on single-lap pace - but Red Bull still ran Mercedes closer than was the case in P1.
The world champion's best lap of 1:31.660 was just under four tenths faster than Daniel Ricciardo's, with Max Verstappen third quickest in the second Red Bull.
More encouragingly, and on a track which plays to Red Bull's renowned aerodynamic strengths, race simulation lap time comparisons on the soft tyres suggested there was nothing to choose between Hamilton and Ricciardo's pace.
Ferrari were upstaged by Red Bull on the timesheet and finished fourth and fifth with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen respectively. Vettel's race pace on the medium tyre was more competitive relative to the team's two rivals, however.
McLaren have often flattered to deceive on Fridays so Fernando Alonso's eye-catching sixth-fastest lap should be accompanied with a note of caution, but partners Honda have brought an engine upgrade to Silverstone. Jenson Button, despite some technical troubles, was ninth in the sister MP4-31.
Williams were seventh and 10th, with Romain Grosjean a strong eighth quickest for Haas on their Silverstone debut.
Practice Two timesheet
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:31.660
2. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:32.051
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:32.286
4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:32.570
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:32.736
6. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:33.040
7. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:33.493
8. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:33.614
9. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:33.763
10. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:33.801
11. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:33.840
12. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, 1:34.000
13. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:34.139
14. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:34.154
15. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:34.321
16. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:34.356
17. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1:34.549
18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:34.610
19. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:34.722
20. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 1:34.959
21. Rio Haryanto, Manor, 1:35.841
22. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, No time
Watch the British GP live on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway at 11:30am. Or watch the race without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV.