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Lewis Hamilton led the way in second free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, though it was Nico Rosberg's FP1 benchmark that would stand as the quickest of the day around the Circuit de Catalunya.

With temperatures creeping up for the afternoon session, Hamilton's best lap of 1min 28.852secs would prove marginally faster than he managed himself in FP1, but 0.024secs slower than the best lap managed by Mercedes team-mate Rosberg in the same session.

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Even so, Hamilton was still a clear four tenths quicker than his nearest rivals in FP2, this time led by Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, who in turn commanded a comfortable three tenth margin over Rosberg in third place.

Kimi Raikkonen held station in fourth, ahead of Daniil Kvyat, who gave Red Bull something to be encouraged about on a day that saw Daniel Ricciardo complete only a handful of laps.

Starting the day attempting to use an older engine, he managed just nine laps, prompting Red Bull to install his fourth Renault power unit for FP2, limiting him to just four laps at the end of the session.

Max Verstappen maintained Toro Rosso's impressive start to the weekend with the sixth best time, while Jenson Button showed possibly McLaren-Honda's biggest step forward of the season so far as he not only cracked the top ten but did so with the seventh best lap in the upgraded MP4-30.

Having sat out FP1 for test driver Susie Wolff, Valtteri Bottas returned to the Williams cockpit to set the eighth best time, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Felipe Massa.

Furthering McLaren-Honda's encouraging start to the weekend, Fernando Alonso was 11th best, ahead of Romain Grosjean in the leading Lotus, the late-joining Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado.

Behind them, Sauber, Force India and Manor brought up the rear in positions 15th to 20th.