Nico Rosberg recovered from his morning brake problems to set the fastest time in second free practice for the Mexican Grand Prix as drizzle in the closing stages negated any further improvements.

With drivers noticeably struggling for grip around the newly revamped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in FP1, as expected lap times plummeted during the afternoon session as the surface bedded in.

Even so, it was still a treacherous session for a number of drivers, with several swapping ends as they found the limit of the Mexico City venue, beginning with FP1 pace setter Max Verstappen who spun at the final corner on his first lap and struck the wall, putting him out for the day.

New champion Lewis Hamilton also suffered a spin, while Valtteri Bottas was particularly fortunate to avoid a more serious incident when he lost control at high-speed into the first corner, but managed to keep most of the car out of the wall.

By contrast, Rosberg that would avoid the drama this time - having missed part of FP1 when his Mercedes' brakes caught alight - to stop the clock at 1min 21.531secs, the soft tyres giving up a four second gain compared with the morning session. His top spot was then assured by the emergence of rain with 25mins of the session remaining.

Maintaining a strong start to the weekend for Red Bull, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top three, the RB11's handling ability on the slippery infield seemingly making up for its top speed disadvantage down the home straight.

Despite his innocuous spin on the low-grip surface, Hamilton was fourth fastest, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferraris. Despite his wild off, which only took off the front wing as the Williams kissed the wall, Bottas recovered to seventh best.

Despite modest aspirations at the start of the weekend, McLaren-Honda showed decent form in FP2, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button going eighth and ninth best, around 1.5secs off the pace. Having sat out FP1 with an issue, Button still only managed a handful of laps in the second-half of FP2 but was good enough to squeeze into the top ten, pushing Felipe Massa down to tenth.

With high expectations for the weekend, local hero Sergio Perez endured a tough session down in 15th, ahead of Romain Grosjean, who stopped on track with mechanical issues.

Mexican GP Preview in Numbers | Crash.Net