for full FP2 times.
Nico Rosberg has drawn first blood against Lewis Hamilton on the first day of action for the Bahrain Grand Prix, topping second free practice under the floodlights.
Having focused on long tyre runs during first free practice – held earlier in the day in considerably hotter temperatures - both Mercedes' were up to speed in the more representative conditions of FP2, once more proving the team to beat over a single lap at least.
Having been unable to get the better of Hamilton at any point in China, Rosberg would get the edge in FP2, his time of 1min 34.647secs just over a tenth quicker than his team-mate. Even so, the German would end his session early after the team noticed 'something it doesn't like' in the telemetry.
Having been quickest in the substantially warmer temperatures earlier in the day, Ferrari were half a second slower than the Mercedes' in FP2, Kimi Raikkonen nonetheless maintaining his slight edge over Sebastian Vettel in third and fourth.
Notably, however, analysis of the long runs showed Ferrari much closer - if not faster - than Mercedes at this early stage in the weekend.
Vettel may have stood to go faster late on but for an unusual incident towards the end of the session when he came out of the pit lane and clipped the rear of Sergio Perez's Force India as he rounded the corner on the racing line.
Breaking his front wing – and causing a brief red flag as the debris was cleared -, Vettel suggested over the radio his failure to stop was down to a technical issue.
Furthermore, Vettel will be investigated for the collision by the stewards, while Hamilton and Raikkonen also face the wrath of the officials after being caught passing other cars in the pit lane as the session resumed following the red flag
Valtteri Bottas kept Williams in the mix, just three thousandths slower than Vettel in fifth, while Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Nasr ensured six different teams inside the top eight.
Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten, ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard again enjoying a positive evening, a stark contrast to team-mate Jenson Button who, after missing FP1, continued to suffer with technical gremlins, eventually completing just 14 laps.