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Nico Rosberg has stretched ahead of the chasing pack after his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's FP2 was ended early by a crash at turn 11.

With Hamilton pushing early in the session he was tipped into a slide entering turn 11 and bashed into the tyre barriers in a heavy side-on shunt.

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The British driver's crash forced a brief red flag to repair the barrier as Hamilton limped back to the pits whereupon Mercedes pulled the car out of the remainder of the session to check over the damage.

Once FP2 returned to green without the reigning F1 world champion, Rosberg set the fastest lap of the day with a 1m 20.435s on the super-softs to stretch clear of his rivals for the remainder of the afternoon session.

With Hamilton out of action, Daniel Ricciardo grabbed second on the timesheet with his best effort on the super-soft tyres but remained almost six-tenths off Rosberg's flyer.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel split the Red Bull pair in third - just over three-tenths behind Ricciardo - with Max Verstappen in fourth but ahead of Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren has continued to demonstrate its pace at the front of the midfield pack with Fernando Alonso once again claimed seventh with Jenson Button eight as the pair held just over a tenth of a second over Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India, making the Woking-based squad's charge to Q3 looking likely.

Sergio Perez held station just behind his Force India team-mate as Esteban Gutierrez, who sat out all of FP1 with Charles Leclerc taking driving duties, impressing by taking P11 ahead of Felipe Massa.

Carlos Sainz's FP2 was curtailed prematurely by an engine problem inside the final 15 minutes to constrain the Toro Rosso to P13 but kept ahead of the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Romain Grosjean claimed P15 ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen lead the tail-enders from Sauber's Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palemr and Felipe Nasr, who also ended the day early with a technical problem, as the Manor pair completed the running order.