Hamilton tops tight FP2 from Ricciardo as Raikkonen hits trouble

Bottas was the fastest driver in the opening ninety minute session at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, lapping almost eight-tenths of a seconds clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes dominated the morning session.

Hamilton lapped in 1:18.259, just ahead of the Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

With 55 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo lost the rear of his vehicle on the entry to Turn 4, causing his Red Bull to bolt to the left as he tried to correct it.

The Australian's session was instantly over as he hitched a lift to the pits and his damaged auto was taken on a truck back to the Red Bull garage for repairs.

Most teams brought significant updates for their cars to Spain as F1 returned to Europe after races in Australia, Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan.

The reigning constructors' champions still have plenty to be wary of, though, after seeing Ferrari and Red Bull closing the gap.

Valtteri Bottas could not repeat his efforts of earlier in the day and had to be content with fifth place while Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest member of the three elite teams.

Williams' woes continued with test driver Robert Kubica, taking part in his first grand prix practice session since Abu Dhabi in 2010, savaging their auto.

Ricciardo was third-fastest initially, more than a second behind Bottas's early 1m18.695s benchmark, but he then triggered a virtual safety vehicle when he went off.

Only six tenths separated the three teams at the end of the session, Hamilton setting the standard with a 1:18.259 lap.


Vettel finished fourth 0.3 seconds slower than the fastest vehicle, while Raikkonen suffered an engine issue and ended sixth.

"The mistake this morning was a costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it", Ricciardo said.

Hamilton posted a best time of 1m18.259s early in the 90-minute session using soft-compound Pirellis.

Robert Kubica, Williams' reserve driver, drove in an official F1 session for the first time since nearly losing a hand in a rally crash in 2011.

McLaren's upgrades delivered for Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, as the two drivers finished in the top 10.

The team had to make some modifications to Kubica's auto because the Polish driver doesn't have full movement of his right hand. "But I'm satisfied with the session and how I reacted to hard conditions and a hard balance".

Perez's session came to a premature end as he stopped on track with 13 minutes remaining with a loose front-left wheel after a pitstop.

"It was so windy out there and every driver was struggling with the changing direction of the wind".

They were fortunate to emerge unscathed, particularly Hartley whose Toro Rosso skated right up to the edge of a barrier on the outside of the gravel, but Ricciardo was not so lucky.


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