FP2: Vettel fastest before gearbox issue


A day that started poorly for Sebastian Vettel ended with the Ferrari driver top of the timesheets ahead of Nico Rosberg in FP2, but he did end the session with more concerns over his gearbox.

Lewis Hamilton admitted after the Canadian GP that we are yet to see Ferrari's true pace following their engine upgrades and we finally got a glimpse of it during the second practice session at the Red Bull Ring.

Four-time World Champion Vettel managed only four laps in the morning before his SF15-T broke down with the team later revealing a component on the drive shaft was to blame.

However, he bounced back later in the day as he was the fastest man on the red-marked supersofts tyres with his 1:09.600 just 0.011s faster than that of Rosberg in the Mercedes. Reliability, though, continues to dog the Italian outfit as the German returned to the pits in the final half an hour complaining about a gearbox issue.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was third while Hamilton was only down in fifth, 0.537s off Vettel's time as he failed to put together a proper flying lap on his fresh tyres, first running wide at Turn 1 and the sliding all over the place at Turn 8. 

Admittedly the track was quite tricky in those areas with several drivers going off there, but there was no major drama.

Lotus' resurgence at Canada also appears to be no fluke with Pastor Maldonado ahead of Hamilton in P4 with Romain Grosjean, who missed FP1 with Jolyon Palmer taking his place, in P7.

Max Verstappen, who was solid despite a headache, was P8 with Felipe Nasr and Sergio Perez completing the top 10.

It was yet another mixed session for McLaren with Fernando Alonso making it out onto the track following his woes earlier in the morning. His MP4-30 also sported the new stubby nose and he initially lapped in the 1:12.1s before improving to 1:11.5, which was good enough for P16.

Jenson Button, on the other hand, was P18 and he suffered a loss of power at Turn 2 and returned to the McLaren garage.

Ahead of the McLaren of Alonso were the Williams cars of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa with the Grove squad once again being solid, but unspectacular, which is a typical Friday effort from the team.

While Williams were unspectacular, Red Bull were disappointing as Daniil Kvyat was P12 with Daniel Ricciardo 17th. To add insult to injury, both drivers are set for grid penalties on Sunday due to engine changes.

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:09.600 28 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:09.611 0.011    50 laps
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:09.860 0.260 41 laps
4 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:09.914 0.314 44 laps
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.137 0.537 49 laps
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:10.160 0.560 49 laps
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:10.267 0.667 38 laps
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:10.356 0.756 48 laps
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:10.495 0.895 39 laps
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:10.585 0.985 46 laps
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:10.631 1.031 50 laps
12 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:10.686 1.086 48 laps
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:10.744 1.144 40 laps
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:10.746 1.146 34 laps
15 Felipe Massa Williams 1:11.011 1.411 42 laps
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:11.517 1.917 17 laps
17 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:11.676 2.076 38 laps
18 Jenson Button McLaren 1:11.919 2.319 17 laps
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:12.522 2.922 34 laps
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:13.094 3.494 34 laps