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Hamilton hits back in FP2

20 June 2014

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Lewis Hamilton was quickest in second practice for the Austrian Grand Prix as he comfortably outpaced team-mate Nico Rosberg.

With Rosberg having been fastest in the opening session, Hamilton responded on the supersoft tyre runs by setting a 1:09.542 to go over 0.8s quicker than his Mercedes team-mate. Rosberg managed to improve on a later lap to cut the gap by almost half a second, but was still 0.377s off the pace.

The two Mercedes cars were – as expected – comfortably clear of the field as Fernando Alonso set the third quickest time but was almost a full second slower on the supersoft tyre. The two Williams cars showed up well with Valtteri Bottas fourth ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa; the trio behind the Mercedes covered by just 0.051s.

After both cars were outside the top ten in FP1, Sebastian Vettel was sixth for Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo eighth as it showed improved pace. Jenson Button was sandwiched between the two but complained that his McLaren was “undriveable” in the high-speed corners.

Kevin Magnussen ended FP2 ninth quickest ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari. It was a tough session for Lotus, with both drivers struggling and Romain Grosjean slower than Max Chilton's Marussia on the supersoft tyres.

With strong winds leading to a threat of rain late in the session, long runs on the soft tyre started earlier and the prime compound held up well with many drivers able to complete more than 20 laps at a consistent pace. However, with air temperature only reaching 17C, higher temperatures are expected later in the weekend which could affect tyre performance.

Drivers were taking liberties with the penultimate corner – the right-handed Turn 8 – with an expansive run-off area being used on numerous occasions. With so many cars having been described as going off track at the corner, the FIA later announced that “No further reports will be made of track limits at Turn 8 – the race director will inform the drivers of the future policy”.


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