Mercedes once again dominated, the Red Bulls looked in good shape and Caterham had a dramatic session in FP2 at Hockenheim on Friday.
With the track temperatures reaching 58 degrees Celsius – the hottest so far this season – the on-track action also heated up as the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg again too fast for their rivals.
Rosberg had the upper hand in the first session, but Hamilton topped the log in the afternoon as the times dropped after drivers switched to the supersofts.
Hamilton posted a 1:18.341, but Rosberg will kick himself as he made a slight mistake on his first lap on the softer rubber and was 0.024 off his team-mate’s pace. Pirelli had warned beforehand that the supersofts will be on its best on lap one and will wear off pretty quickly after that.
With teams focusing on long runs after the initial burst on the fresh rubber, it was always going to be difficult for the rest to catch up. However, Red Bull looked solid once again with Daniel Ricciardo settling for third – 0.102s behind Hamilton while Sebastian Vettel was down in eighth.
Kimi Raikkonen, who missed a large chunk of the morning session due to a water pump problem, had a much better session and finished P4 with Kevin Magnussen, who was running a new wing on his McLaren, fifth.
Felipe Massa also showed Williams’ true pace – the team were outside the top 10 earlier – as he was sixth and followed by Jenson Button, Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas.
Caterham had the biggest hiccup of the day as first Marcus Ericsson was forced to stop on the track due to an oil pressure problem. Not long after it was his team-mate Kamui Kobayashi’s turn for a little drama.
Kobayashi brought his CT05 to a standstill at Turn 15 after reporting a problem with his brakes. He immediately jumped out of the car and it wasn’t too long before it caught fire. The Japanese driver then played firefighter before taking the long walk back to the pits.
Ericsson managed to return to the track and he was 20th fastest with Max Chilton and Kobayashi below him.
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.341 38 laps
02 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:18.365 +0.024 39 laps
03 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:18.443 +0.102 35 laps
04 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:18.887 +0.546 38 laps
05 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:18.960 +0.619 40 laps
06 Felipe Massa Williams 1:19.024 +0.683 36 laps
07 Jenson Button McLaren 1:19.221 +0.880 40 laps
08 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:19.248 +0.907 35 laps
09 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:19.329 +0.988 32 laps
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:19.385 +1.044 34 laps
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:19.417 +1.076 41 laps
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:19.452 +1.111 27 laps
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:19.581 +1.240 28 laps
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:19.593 +1.252 32 laps
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:19.760 +1.419 32 laps
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:20.158 +1.817 35 laps
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:20.358 +2.017 35 laps
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:20.504 +2.163 40 laps
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:21.328 +2.987 31 laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:21.870 +3.529 21 laps
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:21.898 +3.557 28 laps
22 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:23.728 +5.387 12 laps