Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Hamilton stays on top as Rosberg hits trouble

2016 European Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton headed another Mercedes one-two in the second practice session at the Baku City Circuit but his team mate was halted by a technical problem.

The second W06 of Nico Rosberg suffered a loss of drive with 20 minutes remaining in the session and stopped two corners away from the pit lane entrance.

Ricals Ferrari also experienced problems. Kimi Raikkonen’s session ended after a problem with his MGU-K forced him into the turn four run-off. Moments later Sebastian Vettel was instructed to slow down and pit due to a similar fault. He had set the team’s quickest time but was almost two seconds slower than Hamilton.

Mercedes-powered cars occupied the top five places including both Force Indias and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas. Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Toro Rosso was next, a few hundredths of a second quicker than Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

The lap times fell sharply during the session. Hamilton lowered his benchmark time from first practice by 2.2 seconds. But while the unfamiliar and low-grip circuit configuration caught out driver after driver there were no further major incidents.

As the session began Daniel Ricciardo thanked his mechanics on the radiofor quickly repairing the car he crashed during first practice. He ended the session tenth behind Jenson Button.

The session began on time despite the preceding GP2 qualifying session being cancelled due to loose kerbs. Driver s were advised byrace control to avoid the exit kerb at turn six during the session.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’44.22333
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’44.9130.69026
311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’45.3361.11337
477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’45.7641.54135
527Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’45.9201.69737
655Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’46.0271.80435
733Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’46.0681.84535
85Sebastian VettelFerrari1’46.2191.99636
922Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’46.2342.01132
103Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’46.2932.07032
1114Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’46.4982.27527
128Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’46.6812.45829
137Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’46.6942.47132
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’46.7442.52135
1521Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’46.8302.60726
1619Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’47.0602.83728
1720Kevin MagnussenRenault1’47.3293.10638
1888Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’47.4873.26433
199Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’47.7723.54922
2030Jolyon PalmerRenault1’47.7943.57135
2194Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’48.0183.79536
2212Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’48.0813.85838

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’44.223

+0.690 Nico Rosberg – 1’44.913

+1.113 Sergio Perez – 1’45.336

+1.541 Valtteri Bottas – 1’45.764

+1.697 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’45.920

+1.804 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’46.027

+1.845 Max Verstappen – 1’46.068

+1.996 Sebastian Vettel – 1’46.219

+2.011 Jenson Button – 1’46.234

+2.070 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’46.293

+2.275 Fernando Alonso – 1’46.498

+2.458 Romain Grosjean – 1’46.681

+2.471 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’46.694

+2.521 Daniil Kvyat – 1’46.744

+2.607 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’46.830

+2.837 Felipe Massa – 1’47.060

+3.106 Kevin Magnussen – 1’47.329

+3.264 Rio Haryanto – 1’47.487

+3.549 Marcus Ericsson – 1’47.772

+3.571 Jolyon Palmer – 1’47.794

+3.795 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’48.018

+3.858 Felipe Nasr – 1’48.081

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Keith Collantine
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66 comments on “Hamilton stays on top as Rosberg hits trouble”

  1. Oh how the pendulum swings…

    1. It hangs. At Mercedes. Since 2014.

      1. I think @psynrg is refering to the momentum being with Hamilton right now. Rosberg looked superb up until Monaco, but now Ham is the one looking unbeatable!

        1. He still hasn’t led a first lap and the starts have been a big problem. Losing track position on this track to another Mercedes powered car would be a disaster.

          1. @philipgb Traverse is correct. Suddenly it’s just not falling into place for Rosberg. There’s no glaring reason why, same way you could say it was for Lewis the first 5 races (in terms of why he was getting the run of ‘bad luck’.)

            Yet Lewis has made the most of damage limitation, bad starts and all. This is his weakness right now and Rosberg seems to have lost the edge on exploiting that. Spain start-up error and subsequent crash. Monaco he was just plain off the pace. Canada, Lewis held the high ground.

            It appears Rosberg is superb, when utterly untroubled.

            All things being equal, if Lewis grabs a 43 point lead (or any lead?), I don’t think even the most ardent Lewis hater could anticipate Rosberg ever catching him again.

          2. Good point. But Hamilton might aswell push Rosberg in to a wall, the way last 3 races.are going.

          3. But he has however lead the most important lap of all, the one across the finishing line

          4. @psynrg

            I said as much in another thread recently. The points tally doesn’t betray how much of a disaster the early season was for Hamilton, even with his misfortunes he’s recovered the best the car could achieve. Something I don’t recall Rosberg achieving since 2014 when the pace advantage over the field may as well have been them racing a different category. Which is why drivers like Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel are in demand despite the fact most of the field can lap within a few percent of one another, they find a way to dig deep and fight.

            But I still worry about the starts. If Hamilton had led the way into the first corner in the early races his championship lead would be huge, but there is an issue at present and it’s affecting Hamilton worse than Rosberg. In the last two races I still wouldn’t say momentum was with Hamilton, sheer force of will and talent has dragged those wins out of him. It’s been great to watch but over the course of the season they need to sort those starts out.

  2. Scary how far Mercs are ahead. Was Perez on the same tyres?

    1. I’m baffled. RIC is way off and Toro Rosso looking good. I’ll wait for FP3 to have a better picture.

    2. If Hamilton is worried about a coming penalty for a 5th component, which I believe he is after his many early season failures, he should change it now. He could probably start last and be in the top 8 or so by the end of lap two around here.

      1. Good point! However, since his starts have been poor, I have an alternative suggestion. Perhaps he should use up all his components and take a new component a bit later. The reason I say this is because in pre-season testing, the Merc Engines had almost 2-3 times the running of others in terms of miles…so my sense is that he should not take any penalties till Hungary (which I suspect as a track suits RBR more than Merc anyway).

  3. Are force India that fast or the others sand bagging???

    1. If you look at the engine manufacturer, top 5 are from Mercedes and it could tell a story.

    2. They have a combination of Mercedes power so can blitz the straights, and a raked aero car so are great in low speed corners. I think it’s genuine pace from them.

      1. Then the 3rd place might be the fight between force India and williams.

  4. ColdFly F1 (@)
    17th June 2016, 15:45

    Ver impressed (again) by Sainz.
    – he beat his teammate (yes I know it is only practice);
    – he beat the guy who got promoted;
    – he beat the A team in a B car
    – he beat the guys with this year’s PU using last year’s

    1. – It’s Friday

    2. Its no secret that Sainz ALWAYS drives agressive engine modus during FP’s…..many People know this.

    3. Yes, that is a good effort. I hope he can keep up that form.

    4. Agressive engine mode…Sainz is known for using it during FP’s

    5. He is great in every way. RbR stable of talents is well stocked.

  5. #thingstodofromTurn16toTurn1

    – A Sudoku (kamikaze-level)

  6. Looking at things right now, Rosberg’s nine-point championship lead may well be two points by the end of Sunday. Or worse…

    I also really hope Ferrari and Red Bull can pull closer to the Mercs tomorrow; both teams are hovering around 2s off the pace! Didn’t Red Bull estimate they would be about 1.2s off? Really hope the Mercs don’t just disappear off into the distance in the race after such a tightly-fought battle for the lead in Canada, but things aren’t looking good.

    Haryanto’s also worthy of a mention; quicker than his team mate, one of the Renaults and both Saubers.

    1. I can see Mercedes just about lapping the field on Sunday!

    2. Frantic study time ahead for Nico to see if he can duplicate what Hamilton’s already learnt through natural talent.

      1. Funny that in Spain, Hamilton used Rosberg’s setup going into Saturday. So it’s not always Rosberg using Hamilton’s.

        1. to be fair Spain has never been HAM’s strongest circuit. But I would argue it’s more often than not Nico who copies his team mate’s homework.

          1. To me, it seems to be the case that Mercedes is creating a situation where both drivers are likely to copy elements of each others set up to improve the competitiveness of the team as a whole.

            This season, Mercedes has tended to give each driver a slightly different tyre choice for a race weekend – for example, this weekend sees Hamilton with one additional set of the soft tyres more than Rosberg, whilst Rosberg has an additional set of the medium tyres.

            In the free practise sessions, they then tend to get their drivers to run an additional stint on the opposite tyre in order to double up the amount of data they can then collect. However, that strategy relies on a certain level of cross collaboration between the drivers and their engineers, and it is a process where, in turn, the drivers are likely to adopt certain elements from the set up of the other driver based on that cross referencing of data from the different compound types.

        2. You can only point to Spain, I think we can highlight more than the once Rosberg has done so.

        3. I don’t doubt that there are some circuits where Rosberg is better. But I’m talking about learning a new circuit. That’s where Hamilton is typically in his element.

      2. @David BR

        “The two drivers pull each other up on the bad days, you know every driver has a bad day or a bad session, and they need a reference from the other side of the garage. Its fantastic to have these two guys both really at the top of their game. I DON’T THINK Lewis COULD’VE got where he is the last two years WITHOUT Nico IN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GARAGE”.

        -Paddy Lowe, 2015 US GP post race.

        1. In other words, PR talk.

          1. Literally nothing will please Hamilton fans. They will happily trash talk anyone if it meant Hamilton was going to look better.

            As a rosberg fan I still don’t go around being rude about hamilton’s ability on the track. Can people just have some respect for one another? Jeez

          2. @ KhanistanF1- where did I bash Rosberg? I didn’t do that at all but if you want I can very much do that. My point was simply- Paddy Lowe was spouting corporate talk. That in itself shows no particular preference to either driver.

        2. You do know that even with the many issues that have impacted his qualifying each year (name one rear or mid end start for Nico over the last two years?) he has won TWICE as many races as Nico year on year?

          Perhaps he just studies harder at night.

          Oh – wait… Is he not at parties all the time.

      3. Hahaha!!!

    3. the two seconds of the pace suggest Ferrari are doing race runs..

  7. This may well be Hulkenberg’s best chance yet to bag an F1 podium. Ferrari and Red Bull look to be struggling to match Williams and Force India, so realistically it is a fight between them for P3.

    1. Perez has already scored his annual podium for Force India, so it may well be Hulk’s turn! They’re looking in slightly better shape than Williams at the moment

  8. I was very quick to dismiss the claims from Red Bull of how much time they would lose down the straight but it’s far more believable now. Considering in Monaco they were 1 second quicker than Force India and now find themselves 7/10’s off their pace and I highly doubt Red Bull are losing out in the corners that’s a big swing in performance from the straights.

    What does surprise me is considering Red Bulls tendency to run skinny rear wings at most tracks to combat aero drag is that they haven’t looked into a Mercedes style low drag rear wing.

    1. I would also look at the crazy chassis rake they have been running this year, even compared to years past in my eye’s measurement. I thought this jacked up rear end was a Monaco adaptation but look at the pics for Canada, and again you could fit six-pack under the back of that car. This has got to hurt high speed performance. I suppose even a layperson can see how massive rake adds DF but you can also see why this creates a lot of extra drag when you have all that daylight under the back of the car.

      1. I’ve been thinking that same thing @dmw. The Red Bull is draggy. Though if the problem is tyre temperatures they and Ferrari could improve suddenly tomorrow.

      2. DaveW, since you bring up Canada, it’s worth noting that Red Bull were running with a comparable rear wing angle to Mercedes and Ferrari, if not in fact using a slightly larger rear wing.

        Mind you, for this weekend it sounds as if the problems are more down to issues with maintaining tyre temperature, suggesting that the difference is being exaggerated by problems with their set up.

  9. How many times SC will be in? Betting on 3 at least.

  10. digitalrurouni
    17th June 2016, 16:46

    And this is exactly one of the reasons why I am a Hamilton fan. No recce just straight up to speed.

  11. digitalrurouni
    17th June 2016, 16:54


    That onboard video is quite cool. I assume that’s FP1. Those top speeds look a bit tame but it’s early in the weekend. Overall I really like the track!

    1. after watching this video, IMO this circuit seems too dangerous
      if they miss the braking point the escapes are ok, but if they lose control of the car and hit a corner, the shunt will be huge
      i don’t like it

      1. isn’t that the same on most circuits?

        if you go off at suzuka its more often than not a big accident & in 2009 qualifying was stopped a dozen times due to several accidents. if you go off at places at spa its a big accident.

        this is what motor racing has always been, younger fans are too used to circuits with masses of runoff me thinks!

    2. Thank you for posting that video!
      It was mesmerizing… it loops automatically so I watched it about 10 times in succession. Incredible how quickly Lewis seems to have gotten comfortable attacking the corners despite this being a new circuit with so little margin for error. This is especially demonstrated in how aggressively and smoothly he attacks the narrow alleyway by the castle– I suspect he has half a second on anyone else is in this little section alone. There are only millimeters between his right side tires and the wall on corner entry on most corners already– his line is set and tomorrow he is going to work on how late he can brake, how early he can get on throttle, and how close he can get to the barriers at the exit.

      I am in awe of this guy’s talent and precision. I predict a quali pole lap from him that will rival Senna’s fabled Monaco run in terms of the gap to the others and how insane it appears from inside the car.

      If he wins big here, I think he will draw so much confidence from it that he will proceed to run away with the championship.

  12. Go Lewis go!

  13. That time difference between Lewis & Nico, I suspect data will be studied tonight and the gap will be closed, along with setups. Lewis was 5k down on Nico in top speed yet was still faster in final sector. IIRC Rosberg couldn’t match Hamilton’s run on soft when he put the SS on, think the gap was almost 2 tenths. Pulling all the best sector times together for both drivers I think the gap is actually almost 1 second.

    1. @woodyd91 Maybe Rosberg had opted for a lower downforce setup with higher topspeed, but, now, has seen that the extra 5k isn’t enough to make up all the lost time in the first 2 sectors?
      And Rosberg went 2 tenths faster on the SS than Hamilton on the S (about 0.180-0.190, if I remember correctly)

      1. Difference could even be down to Hamilton running his PU in a lower setting to protect his precious components. If that was the case Rosberg’s got even more homework to do!

    2. I suspect strategy by Rosberg. He’s unlikely to beat Hamilton in a straight quali battle, but the odds of jumping him off the line are good. With a straight line speed advantage he’s then more chance of holding Hamilton at bay down the straight.

    3. They regularly try different ways of setup on fridays and then converge on sunday. I suspect this is even more so in a brand new track. Nothing excessively telling, but ofc Hamilton seems to be on a roll.

  14. The Force India seems to like this circuit. On the long straight u can see what all 1000 horsepower does for Mercedes. It’s good to have the most powerful engine on the grid.

    Adrian Newey Max downforce RB is suffering here.

  15. “The second W06 of Nico Rosberg”……should be W07 actually.

  16. The Williams clearly has enough performance to do well on this type of track. Given what Bottas has achieved today, what happened to Massa? I did not have a chance to see the practice sessions.

  17. When you take luck out of the equation you’re left with one answer -LEWIS HAMILTON !

  18. Haryanto proving the Mercedes engine is still the PU of choice. Ferrari should be closer than this, it’s not good enough I’m afraid. Last year’s race win celebrations seem a long time ago now.

    1. and Sainz proving last year Ferrari are better?

  19. Consecutive boring F1 weekend will be, I’m thinking to spend the days with my wife instead. Happy summer!?

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