Kimi Raikkonen topped a Ferrari 1-2 in Friday’s second practice in Shanghai as the Maranello pairing pipped Mercedes on their super-soft run.
Mercedes opted for an early run on the option tyres with Nico Rosberg posting a 1:37.133 while Lewis Hamilton, who has a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race, was 0.196s down.
Daniel Ricciardo slotted his RB11 into third place ahead of Max Verstappen while Ferrari opted to concentrate on long runs for the first half of the session.
Raikkonen lined up P18 as he covered an 18-lap run on the softs before questioning whether there was “any point in keeping going because it is absolutely s**t.” Sebastian Vettel was P20 as he put in 15 laps on the mediums.
Swapping to the super-softs saw a meteoric rise for Vettel, who went quickest with a 1:37.005. Minutes later, though, he was beaten by Raikkonen.
The Finn posted a 1:36.896 to edge his team-mate by 0.109s while Rosberg dropped to third, 0.237s down. Hamilton was fourth, 0.433s off the pace.
Ricciardo completed the session as best of the rest ahead of Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz.
After FP1’s tyre failures, all believed to be related to bodywork, Friday’s second session saw yet more issues.
Heading out for his first run, the right-hand side of Pascal Wehrlein’s headrest became detached, flapping around in the cockpit of his Manor.
Meanwhile Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas caught fire with a massive amount of flames coming from both his rear brakes. His mechanics were out in force with the fire extinguishers as he carefully pulled into the pits but it took some time – and a whole lot of foam – to put out the fires.
Gutierrez did not take any further part in the session and ended down in 21st place, adding to his woes after also missing FP1 with an electrical issue.
One driver did not post a lap time in FP2, Kevin Magnussen. Following his tyre troubles in FP1, Renault opted not to let him run while they investigated the cause.
1 Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.896 35 laps
2 Vettel Ferrari 1:37.005 33 laps
3 Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.133 33 laps
4 Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.329 34 laps
5 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.143 31 laps
6 Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:38.26828 laps
7 Hülkenberg Force India 1:38.527 31 laps
8 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:38.542 32 laps
9 Perez Force India 1:38.569 31 laps
10 Bottas Williams 1:38.723 34 laps
11 Alonso McLaren 1:38.728 31 laps
12 Button McLaren 1:38.828 28 laps
13 Kvyat Red Bull 1:39.178 31 laps
14 Massa Williams 1:39.214 34 laps
15 Palmer Renault 1:39.774 32 laps
16 Grosjean Haas 1:39.890 22 laps
17 Wehrlein Manor 1:39.941 36 laps
18 Ericsson Sauber 1:39.979 35 laps
19 Haryanto Manor 1:40.550 33 laps
20 Nasr Sauber 1:41.066 32 laps
21 Gutiérrez Haas 1:42.954 4 laps
22 Magnussen Renault No time 0 laps