Rosberg tops FP2 in Bahrain

By on Friday, April 20, 2012

Nico Rosberg © Daimler

Nico Rosberg has finished practice two fastest in Bahrain, continuing on from his success in China where he won his maiden Grand Prix victory. The Red Bulls showed competitive pace with Webber and Vettel finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. The McLarens struggled on the softer tyre, as the track temperatures dipped.

The session got underway with Narain Karthikeyan taking to the track almost immediately for HRT, completing not only an installation lap but also the first timed lap with a 01:41.710. Pastor Maldonado then blitzed the Indian’s time with a 01:36.518 going just over five seconds quicker than the HRT.

The big news of the second session was that of Force India deciding to skip FP2, with the mechanics leisurely transferring their cars from Friday practice to qualifying and race pace as the session began. As the session got underway, Force India confirmed they would not partake in the second session.

Jenson Button was out early on in the session for McLaren, with the 2009 World Champion making a minimal mistake on his first timed lap. Kamui Kobayashi then went quickest with a 01:36.198 before the Brit finally got a quick lap together and set a 01:34.500, becoming the first of the front runners to clock a time in FP2.

The times then began to tumble as the majority of the field began setting quick times, with some drivers even opting for the softer Pirelli tyre compound early on. Mark Webber went fastest, before the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher returned to the top.

Sebastian Vettel became the first of the front runners to switch to the soft (yellow) Pirelli tyre, immediately going quickest with a 01:33.525, only around a tenth fastest than his time on the harder tyres. Nico Rosberg then shot to the top of the timing sheets, with a commanding lap time of a 01:32.816. This showed the opposition that the Silver Arrows will most certainly be a force to be reckoned with this weekend.

The McLarens also opted for the softer Pirelli tyres, but were unable to break into the top 3. Lewis Hamilton ended the day just under a second off Rosberg’s time, with his team-mate Jenson Button just over a second slower than the German driver. McLaren will be hoping they can get closer to the opposition tomorrow.

With Force India stipulating they are committed to racing in Bahrain, tomorrow should see a full 24 car grid take to the track for practice three and qualifying.

Pos Driver                Team                  Time                 Laps
 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m32.816s            35
 2. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m33.262s  + 0.446   26
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m33.525s  + 0.709   28
 4. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m33.747s  + 0.931   26
 5. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m33.862s  + 1.046   31
 6. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m34.246s  + 1.430   28
 7. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m34.411s  + 1.595   34
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m34.449s  + 1.633   31
 9. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m34.615s  + 1.799   32
10. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m34.893s  + 2.077   34
11. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m34.895s  + 2.079   29
12. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m34.941s  + 2.125   29
13. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m35.183s  + 2.367   33
14. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m35.229s  + 2.413   26
15. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m35.459s  + 2.643   38
16. Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1m35.913s  + 3.097   32
17. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m35.968s  + 3.152   35
18. Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1m36.169s  + 3.353   30
19. Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m36.587s  + 3.771   32
20. Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m37.803s  + 4.987   33
21. Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m37.812s  + 4.996   28
22. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m39.649s  + 6.833   27

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