Mercedes headed the second practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix as they did the first, but this time Nico Rosberg was on top.
The two W05s were separated by just over a tenth of a second – and two of their rivals. Kimi Raikkonen was second-fastest ahead of Sebastian Vettel, followed by first practice pace setter Lewis Hamilton.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were also within two-tenths of a second of Rosberg as the front of the field closed up in the second session.
In punishing 34C heat with track temperatures exceeding 50C, some drivers found their tyres were suffering quickly once their race preparation stints began. The Mercedes drivers in particular seemed to reach the limit of their medium tyres more quickly than their rivals.
Lotus’s dire problems continued into the second session, though Romain Grosjean managed to complete 14 laps between stoppages, before he was halted by a gearbox problem.
But team mate Pastor Maldonado failed to set a time at all, as did Kamui Kobayashi in the Caterham.
Max Chilton began the session with a spin at turn three. He was recovered by the marshals and was able to rejoin practice halfway through the session.
Several other drivers also ventured off the track without consequences. Daniel Ricciardo ran through a gravel trap on one of his final laps, while Nico Hulkenberg went straight on at the final corner in his Force India.
2014 Malaysian Grand Prix
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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei