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Nico Rosberg maintained his advantage over Lewis Hamilton as he set the fastest time of a disjointed second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Having been just over 0.2s quicker than Hamilton in the opening session on Friday, Rosberg was fastest by a similar margin in FP2, setting a 1:12.123 as drivers tried the soft tyres for the first time. Hamilton appeared less happy with his car than his team-mate, running wide at Turn 1 on two occasions as well as at Turn 11.

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Mercedes' advantage seemed to be less substantial on the soft tyre as Kimi Raikkonen set the third fastest time for Ferrari with a 1:12.696. Like Hamilton, Raikkonen also had a few excursions during the session, notably when he ran off at Turn 12 and had to rejoin having stopped just short of the escape road he had tried to use during the 2013 race.

Raikkonen's team-mate Fernando Alonso was seventh quickest, with Daniel Ricciardo and the two Williams cars splitting the Ferraris, but he caused the second of three red flags in the session when his engine blew up exiting Turn 3. With a fire at the back of the car, Alonso quickly jumped out to extinguish the flames himself before it was recovered.

Only five minutes after the session restarted, Esteban Gutierrez stopped in the exact same place as Alonso to again bring out the red flags. Jean-Eric Vergne had caused the first red flag of the session as he stopped 14 minutes in to FP2, with his Toro Rosso coming to a halt at Turn 4.

That stoppage limited Vergne to just five laps in the session, leaving Daniil Kvyat to do the majority of Toro Rosso's work. Despite setting the eighth quickest time ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen, Kvyat described the car as "undriveable" in the closing stages.

Vergne ended up slowest of the drivers to set a time, while Sergio Perez was forced to miss the session completely. Dani Juncadella crashed Perez's car in FP1 and Force India said a lot of heat soak caused the team to change some engine hydraulic components as a precaution, which resulted in Perez sitting out the whole of Friday's running.

Another driver making up for lost running was Jenson Button, who managed only one lap in FP1 but had a more productive afternoon session to complete 31 laps, albeit with a best time two seconds off the pace.

Although thunderstorms were forecast, the session remained dry and hot throughout, with track temperatures comfortable exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. However, if it stays dry on Sunday the race is likely to see cooler conditions.