Rosberg quickest in Bahrain practice two

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Rosberg was half a second quicker than Schumacher around the Bahrain circuit
Rosberg was half a second quicker than Schumacher around the Bahrain circuit

Mercedes power remained on top of the times sheets in the second practice session at Bahrain but this time it was the works Mercedes team that headed the times.

Nico Rosberg was fastest of all followed by three more Mercedes-powered runners: Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button.

Adrian Sutil, fastest in the first practice session this morning, was 12th for Force India.

Several drivers tried running the super-soft tyres in this afternoon’s session and many discovered problems with rear tyre wear.

The dustry track also caught several drivers out, particularly at the final corner. The new section also proved challenging – Jaime Alguersuari spun his Toro Rosso, luckily stopping just before the barriers.

As the session ended Bruno Senna skidded to a halt in his HRT car. The right-rear wheel appeared to shed a nut as he braked for the first corner. He at least managed to complete 17 laps and set a best time of 2’06.968.

Position Car number Driver Car Best lap Laps
1 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’55.409 23
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’55.854 0.445 22
3 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’55.903 0.494 23
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’56.076 0.667 28
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’56.459 1.05 18
6 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’56.501 1.092 26
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’56.555 1.146 30
8 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’56.750 1.341 26
9 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’57.140 1.731 25
10 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’57.255 1.846 24
11 23 Kamui Kobyashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’57.352 1.943 27
12 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’57.361 1.952 29
13 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’57.452 2.043 21
14 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’57.833 2.424 29
15 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’58.155 2.746 29
16 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’59.799 4.39 31
17 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 2’00.444 5.035 12
18 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 2’00.873 5.464 23
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 2’00.990 5.581 14
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2’02.037 6.628 3
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2’02.188 6.779 21
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 2’06.968 11.559 17
23 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 0

Predict the pole sitter and top five finishers in the Bahrain Grand Prix for your chance to win F1 tickets, DVDs, books and more. Entries close before the start of free practice three so enter now!

109 comments on “Rosberg quickest in Bahrain practice two”

  1. anyone know why webber didn’t run for the last half hour? any issues or just refining setup for tomorrow?

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      12th March 2010, 12:47

      Driveshaft problem.

    2. @redbullf1spy explains some of the lost running today: “Mark’s was a precautionary stop for his gearbox”

    3. yes he has precautionary stop for his gearbox and Vettel had to change his brakes…

      1. Doesn’t bode well for a more reliable year in the Red Bull camp.

  2. leading by 0.44s? thats good!

  3. What a day of confusion!! Only McLaren seem to be a little consistent.
    Very hard to understand who stands where at the moment.

  4. Missed the 2nd practice session.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th March 2010, 12:47

    I’m very impressed with Petrov’s form: he’s found two seconds from one session to the next.

    1. Perhaps that’s how much fuel they’ve taken off his car :-)
      It doesn’t mean anything.

    2. Mark Hitchcock
      12th March 2010, 12:58

      Renault’s ability to empty fuel from the tank is indeed impressive :P

  6. Mouse_Nightshirt
    12th March 2010, 12:50

    Looking ominous for HRT. If they are going to be that slow, there are going to be some knee jerk rule changes…

    1. Well Bruno did improve by 2 seconds over the course of the session, so don’t write them off completely.

      1. I was more worried by the wheel nearly coming of Senna’s car rather than the pace of the HRT.

        1. I don’t think i’ve seen an F1 car lap that slow since….hmmm….1997? I don’t know if the 107% rule is still in place, but the car is round about 3 and a half seconds off that presently…

          1. No the 107% rule is no longer in place, but HRT are the only ones outside that pace…. so Virgin and Lotus aren’t that slow despite all the moaning…. there have been lots of cars in the past failing the 107% rule.

          2. I think the 107% rule is no longer on the books, which might save cars as the cutoff would be 2:03.488.

          3. Lotus and Virgin are hovering around the 107% mark. The last new team to enter F1, Super Aguri, also lapped around 107% of the leaders’ pace in their first Grand Prix. So they’re not doing that badly for new teams. HRT are behind at the moment but I doubt they were giving it everything. This is their first day of running after all.

      2. Just a pity for him that the session didn’t last for 10x as long!

  7. That Mercedes with no fin, no air inlet stalling out the rear diffuser, sure looks fast yeah? Michael is a superbly smooth driver as well and may be able to get more out of the tires longer than some of the Hamilton’s and Alonso’s who turn so abruptly! Just my thoughts.

    I do feel that Ferrari are still playing coy. We’ll see and I’m excited to see this first race. Hopefully no Sand people from A New Hope show up and ruin the track (dust storm joke)!

    Hope you are all enjoying this as much as I! Its 4:49AM in Seattle; stayed up all night to watch practice. They only aired practice 2 here so that’s all I was able to see but it was worth every second.

  8. This may be the first answer to Schumacher by Nico

    1. Or not maybe. Maybe it’s more of a question, a question in the form of an answer, an answer in the form of a question. Maybe it’s a known unknown.

      1. Or maybe Nico will do better than Michael

        1. Known unknown.

        2. Nico is always better in Practice but he need to prove in race.

    2. It *was* the first answer! Or Schumacher evidently saw it as such by telling the press after FP2 that he needs to ‘raise his game’!

  9. Slightly off topic – but I have an idea as to how they can reduce rear tyre wear (although they wouldn’t be able to implement it until next season.

    Obviously they have the contact patch with the road they want balance-wise now, but they are still having issues with the rear tyres lasting as long as the fronts.

    The simple thing to do would be to make the rear tyres taller, therefore leaving the contact patch with the track the same but giving much more surface area to the tyre so it takes longer to wear.

    It would also give drivers behind a better slipstream and could potentially increase overtaking?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 12:57

      Increase overtaking? Fat chance. If anything, it will work in the opposite way: overtaking will decrease. Larger rear tyres will only change the profile of the car, causing the wake to change and become larger, thus producing more turbulence and making it harder to pass.

      And large rear tyres woul make the cars look silly. Tyre management is a skill, anyway. It tests the drivers. It shouldn’t be removed just because one or two have trouble looking after their rubber.

      1. With the amount of downforce devices they have at the moment and the style in which they create it they are seemingly never going to be able to follow each other closely through corners. I personally think it wouldn’t make a large difference to the wake in corners as the pursuing car isn’t in a direct line behind. What it will do is increase the wake down the straights dramatically and consistantly which means you will be able to get into a slip stream from further back, thus giving you a greater advantage when following down a straight.

        The angle the air comes off the wings and diffuser creates much more turbulance than the air coming off the tyres as the air on the wings is worked much more – whereas the tyres just create drag in a straight line behind them with very little turbulance.

    2. I have two better ideas.

      1. Get rid of the silly two tire compound rule.

      2. The tire (“tyre” for you Brits) supplier provides a more reasonable compound for the weekend.

  10. I cannot believe how Virgin and HRT are being allowed to race. They are from 6 seconds to 11 seconds off the pace.. I really dont think they have developed formula 1 cars, and should not be allowed to compete in tomorrow’s race

    1. This was my point from last weeks discussion… or was it a couple days ago? Either way, I’ll say it again; they can’t get out of the way fast enough to be safe. Its not a question of lapping them once or twice… Add in 4 cars and the field will be battling for positions while these guys are putting everyone in serious danger.
      And I don’t care to hear about history because its just that, history. We can improve safety by learning from history, not by copying it. If they continue to be this far off pace, then they will have to watch the races. Did anyone else notice the right rear wheel failure on Bruno’s car? He was braking for crying out loud! And it wasn’t a piece of carbon fiber like the Lotus lost mid straightaway, it was a critical static titanium fabrication! C’mon! Really? No, REALLY?

      1. It’s funny that when Ferrari say this they get absolutely hammered but when Red Bull or anyone else says it no-one seems to mind.

        1. It’s the way Ferrari said it – totally over the top and snidely – never forget part of the advantage they have enjoyed in the past has been due to the secret “special arrangement” they have had with Bernie / the FIA – these new teams have started from scratch and had the goal posts moved mid-way through the process – they just need a little time.

          1. Actually, that ‘secret arrangement’ was not secret as the other teams knew about it. It was also nothing more than the ability to veto new rule changes, which they never did, even when the rules were changed to hamper them. Get over it already…

        2. I guess the difference is Ferrari said it before we had any idea what the new teams’ pace was going to be like. If HRT really are 11 seconds off the pace (and I don’t think they are, although it doesn’t look great for them at the moment), then that is something to worry about. Still, hopefully they’ll be tagging along at the back in no time.

      2. I seriously think its going to be an issue in tomorrow’s qualifying sessions. One of the fast cars is on a flying lap, and there’s one of these six boats in front. There might be an incident and/or some flying laps might be destroyed. It’s not looking good at all. At one point, Heikki’s Lotus was 13 seconds off Nico’s MercGP at the top. I mean, 3-4 seconds is something and 13 seconds is totally something else!
        I honestly don’t know what to expect.
        This is really a blunder on FIA’s part, especially to allow HRT to race without ANY testing!
        I do support the new teams but this is outright dangerous and very stupid. They should have arranged for some testing for HRT if they had to allow them to race in Bahrain.
        I don’t know, but the whole thing looks very immature to me.
        I was feeling sorry for Senna really, for a moment it looked like one of those GP2 cars would come around and lap him! :O

        1. I agree completely and have been saying this since the last test. This is NOT going to be good…

          It will be interesting to hear what Alonso, Weber, and some of the more vociferous drivers say about the new roadblocks the FIA has put out on the circuit.

        2. It definitely won’t be an issue in qualifying. The top teams will do a flying lap on the hard tyre, the midfield teams might have to do a few more laps since one of them is dropping out in Q1 as well (I think we all know which 6 cars are dropping out in Q1!!!). And right now it doesn’t look like HRT and Virgin will be running very long in Qualifying. i just hope that Chandhok gets some track time in the final practice session.

      3. The new teams do look slow, but I’ll withhold judgement until the race and see if drivers complain. Even very slow cars shouldn’t be a big problem if everyone drives sensibly. Look at LeMans. The different categories race at different speeds at the same time and no one freaks out.

        When it comes to Bruno’s failure, I wouldn’t worry about that either. It happens. When Räikkönen (? Montoya ?) was with McLaren, I saw his rear wing snap at the end of the straight at the USGP. There are failures with the best of teams.

        1. I think holding judgement until race day is too kind. What about qualifying? Somebody is on a flying lap and they have one of these potatoes in front of them, it will ruit it :(

    2. Two things. Firstly, the gap looks worse because the new circuit configuration is so long. Secondly, this is only Free Practice and – as per usual – the times tell us very little about true levels of performance. Qualifying should provide a more accurate indication of performance.

      Look at the gap in seconds tells us very little, because it doesn’t take circuit length into account. Lotus and Virgin are both a respectable distance from the pace. In FP2 both Lotus drivers were within 105% of the fastest time from FP2 and both Virgin drivers were within 106% of Rosberg. If this is replicated in qualifying then both cars will be well within 107%, if that were to apply (but it doesn’t).

      Senna in the sole HRT Dallara was 110% away from the pace in FP2. This obviously looks worse, but it’s not too bad given that FP1 and FP2 are acting as HRT’s shakedown test. By way of comparison, the fastest of the much maligned Lolas in 1997 was 113% away from pole position after two days of practice and qualifying.

  11. Why were Campos allowed to change their name at the last minute but Sauber couldn’t drop the BMW? Why does the FIA continue to amaze us all with their stupidity? How did these old people ever get so rich I wonder?

    1. i believe its something to do with tv rights and the revenue from it for last season for bmw. plus campos/hrt is a brand new team

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 12:59

      Sauber chose to keep the BMW. They’re free to change their name if and when they wish – provided they get approval from all of the teams – but they’ve elected to keep the BMW for now for reasons related to the Concrode Agreement, specifically their claim to te television rights divvied up by FOM.

      1. Thats their reasoning, but the FIA could just as easily say that they can change it without a loss of revenue. What difference does it make to them? It’s actually worse for them because it sounds stupid to say BMW Sauber Ferrari; which makes them sound stupid. My best guess is that Peter was having trouble getting the team from BMW and as a compromise he said he’d keep their name.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          12th March 2010, 13:07

          Well, write to Peter Sauber if you think the name sounds stupid. For now, the name stands because they’re happy with it. No doubt they’ll change it as the season progresses.

          1. Oh, okay. Do you have his address per chance? And what on earth would make you think he’s happy with it? The name stands for reasons other than happiness. Again, Peter was originally denied the team from BMW and he was quite outspoken about it.
            But yeah, I’m sure he’s happy with it. I’ll write him as soon as you give me the address mate.

    3. Every team can change the name, but they are then treated as a new team and don’t get sponsors money from last year. Hispania wasn’t racing last year so it makes no difference, but Sauber gets money for last year.

    4. I’m not sure Sauber have actually applied to change their name, which might have something to do with it.

    5. The general view seems to be that if Sauber changed it’s name it may loose out on the TV money they earned last year when they competed as BMW Sauber, as Campos/HRT are a new team they don’t have anything to loose.

      I agree it is a bit stupid and I would have thought they would have been allowed to change their name without penalty under the circumstances.

  12. Turn 6 looks like it’s going to be a real handfull in the race, especially with the variation in ride height as they go from low fuel in quali to full tanks on the race day :S

    Redbull look like they’re having some serious brake problems. Mercedes looking the most settled so far.

    1. Is that the turn with the huge bumps in it with a slight dip; right hander? That corner is eating the bottom of those cars tough!

  13. It’s great to see Hulkenberg off to a flying start in his debut. I think he’s going to be the new Sebastian Vettel or maybe even Lewis Hamilton and I think he’ll earn his first points on Sunday.

    Watching Senna was embarrassing. He’s a lovely bloke and it’s great to have that name back in the sport but watching that grey car piddle around the track, holding others up, was quite painful. I don’t think HRT are going to survive at all.

    1. Vettel is still the new Vettel! Hulkenberg can’t be the new guy, he’s the new new guy. I think he’ll be the next Hulk, brother!

      1. Best not make him angry then.

        1. ha ha! I meant like Hulk Hogan (hence “brother!) but either Hulk would be a mistake to anger! ha ha!

      2. Vettel is definitely still around and has things to prove but out of all the newcomers Hulk-boy looks likely to be not just the best but very impressive indeed.

        1. By ‘indeed’ I meant ‘overall’.

    2. i think hulk has more talent than vettel

      1. We’re all entitled to our opinions I suppose… Has Hulk finished 2nd in a championship ever? No? What? Okay then. We’ll see, but that is a bold statement my friend. I hope you are right though… just way to early to make such a claim.

        1. well he did win a couple of champs, yes very very early to make such a call, just intuition i guess. But put it this way… if he was british and in a mclaren, well we would have heard a bit more about him.

  14. That’s more like it!I’ve got a funny feeling though that we dont have a clue about the real potential of the cars yet! I bet Red Bull are not anxious to prove their pace just yet, so they are collecting important data for the race but sooner rather than later they’ll come out of hiding like they did last year.

  15. i know its early still for HRT, but if after the 3rd practice they are still over 10secs off the pace shouldn’t they not be allowed to race? (that goes for the other new teams as well)

    1. Both virgins were inside the 107% time. Yes Lotus and HRT kinda need to get it together.

      1. Lotus were faster that Virgin, I’m thinking it’s just HRT who needs too get some speed

        1. Oh hey when the hell did Lotus jump up there, I was watching the live timing at work and last I saw they were a couple of second off Virgin. Oh well thats what I get for not staying until the end.

  16. Petrov isn’t that bad after all, he has a faster laptime than Kubica! Alots of drivers (Sutil, Alonso, Kubica, Liuzzi, Alguersuari) didn’t improve during FP2, that surprises me a little.

    I can still not tell who’s favourite, altough the experts say it is Ferrari. But McLaren looks good, Mercedes did well in FP2, Vettel’s there so Webber should be able to get there, the Ferrari’s is also expected to be at front.

    Than we’ve got Renault, I think they can fight for points. Barrichello is taking it easy while Hülkenberg is 1 second of Nico’s time. Than Sauber improves big time compared to FP1 while Force India is slowing down just as Ferrari did.

    At least one thing is clear, HRT are the slowest and Lotus is in front of Virgin…

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 13:12

      Actually, Hispania’s testing program may have called for gathering tyre data. If so, Senna would naturally be driving around slower than usual because all drivers doing tyre programs go slowly.

  17. BTW. Anybody misses the white Brawn GPs??

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 13:16

      A little, but the sheer amount of colour on the grid – yellow, red, blue, green, black, silver, etc. – more than makes up for it. Plus, there’s the white Saubers.

    2. Yeah…

    3. i do. they’ll go down in legend that team. how they (at least as an independant team) turned up for one season, took both titles and left… :)

      1. Jenson races the whole 2009 season in a single chassis (so says Wikipedia) making Brawn GP the single most sucessful constructor, the BGP001 the most sucessful F1 car model, and chassis 02 the single most sucessful grand prix car.

    4. Not in the slightest

  18. Pretty much to expectations as far as the big teams are concerned. A bit surprised at RB’s issues, didn’t expect technical/mechanical snags in their cars.
    Force India/Sutil threw in a pleasant surprise and it proved that the car’s got the pace, again. They were running some heavy fuel/tire management runs in the 2nd session, so I think those times are not meant for comparisons. Feel really happy for them.
    But the biggest upset (for me) was Rosberg outdoing Schumacher, I didn’t like that at all. :(

    Good session, I managed to watch it online on BBC iPlayer here in Singapore, don’t ask me how!
    I’ll use my little trick to watch the 3rd practice tomorrow and then its Star Sports Live.
    Thank goodness I’ll be back in the UK by the Chinese GP!

    Can’t wait for tomorrow already :)

  19. Even though he has changed teams Rosberg is still topping Friday Free Practice, hopefully he can convert this into results now.

  20. Things are looking a little more “familiar”, or “expected”, now, Ferrari’s pace most likely being the exception. The order’s going to change quite a bit from here to qualifying and from there to the race result, but things are shaping up nicely already :-)

  21. The Comedian 39
    12th March 2010, 13:18

    So much for HRT being 1 second faster than the Virgins & Lotus’.

    1. If a brand new team is one second faster than Lotus at their Shakedown, The top teams would be in trouble by the time we get to Europe…

  22. It looks like Schumacher is still strong.

    1. Not bad after a 3 year absence and age constraints. Depending on qualifying I think he actually does have a fair shot at a title. Again, he takes corners much smoother than many other drivers and I think this may allow him to save tires better than his rivals. I know it sounds lame, but I’m kinda rooting for him as I think he is finally an underdog for a change.
      I’m sick of announcers saying he has nothing to gain and everything to lose as well. I hope he shuts them up. People are so concerned with legacy, but when you sit on your laurels and start living in the past then you may as well be dead. He’s doing the right thing by him and so far it seems he’s made the right choice. Rosberg is always quick in Free practice… but you need to be quick lap after lap and that’s what Michael can do better than anyone ever.

      1. Generally today’s times mean nothing. Even more so than pre season testing. At least then there was enough running for everyone to run high, med, low fuel and the different tyre compounds.

        However,I expect Rosberg to be quicker than Shu (this weekend at least) :-)

      2. yep agree with you there chris.

  23. Did Mercedes use their new diffuser?

    What if HRT does not make it to the grid with two cars, will that be in violation of the rules to participate in all races?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 13:33

      Mercedes’ “super-diffuser” is apparently the old diffuser with a few subtle-but-important changes.

      As for Hispania, they won’t be in violation of the rules if one of them fails to make it. Or even two. All they have to do is participate in qualifying and they will be in the race. Even if the 107% rule is re-introduced and they are both outside it, they will be considered to have taken part.

  24. only two things counts: qualification and the race

    1. ..of the clan MacLeod? There can be only one!

  25. at last we see the true schumacher…

    no gismo’s, no gadgets…

    1. There were no gizmos in 1995-2000, so don’t start.

      1. Never mind this if you didn’t mean that in a bad way!

  26. Senna said few days ago that they are a bit faster than Lotus and Virgin.

    1. Yeah, but today was more like a shakedown then anything else, Does anyone remember how far Lotus and Virgin were from the other teams at their first test?

      1. Lotus 9.25 sec the first day but it was wet and the Lotus had no power steering.

        In dry conditions on the last day of their first test 3.4 seconds off

        Virgin about 18 seconds off on their first day when the wing fell off.2nd day 10 seconds off the pace.

        1. So there are quicker then the Virgin after the first “test” I guess, Hopefully will be better today.

  27. Still far too early. The only concern for the main 4 teams has to be Hamilton’s distruction of the mediun tyre in less than 5 laps. Outwith that it was more or less expected. The last 30 min of practice 3 will give a better idea.

    1. very true, if i remember correctly there was also a bit of speculation in FP2 that the redbull looked a little bit hard on its tyres

  28. Did you see the speed traps on practice 2. I mean some strange things. Renault with probably the weakest engine in front of Mclaren. How did that happen? Plus probably the Renault was loaded with fuel a 2:00 lap.

    1. Most of the times when this happens – higher laptime and higher top speed – it means the team has a set up with too less downforce.
      This gives them a higher topspeed, but makes them slower in most of the corners.

  29. RE: My comment above about Virgin on there 1st day, they didn’t go out until the track was wet so the 18 sec was from a dry time with theirs set as wet.

    At the same running the Virgin was approx 8 second slower than the fastest at the same time as when they ran.

    So maybe HRT aren’t doing that bad ;-)

  30. Great to see the cars running again! Making predictions from today’s times is crazy but nice to see the Force India well placed in the timesheet.

  31. HRT? Are the mechanics a bunch of stroppy middle-aged women?

  32. as usual, Nico is the first on Friday

  33. well i’m happy that rosberg is settled in the Mercedes quickly and is liking the car, setting the fastest time in practice 2 and even outperforming Michael.

    And this is meant to be a Mercedes which hasn’t been 100% sorted yet, and with the new rear wing advantage which Mclaren will lose quickly, will improve the Mercedes even more.

    I want rosberg to do well and maybe win the WDC because I got £20 running on him with the odds 25/1, good start atm just wish Hulkenberg would be a dark horse and be in there for 100/1 chance.

    1. you might be able to find good odds for hulk to take WDC in 2-3 years time, if he does well he might be the prefered choice for merc over vettel, will certainly be interresting to keep an eye over him for the season

      1. always thought the hulk would be top drawer since AlGP days just looked very easy for such a young driver, what kind of odds can you get for a title within a few years?? got to be worth a punt

        1. Depends who the driver is I guess, there was some guy in England who put a bet on Hamilton to win the title before he was 25 I think a couple of years before he even got to f1. And I think he got a fairly good payout.

          1. I remember in the early 00’s, someone put a big stack of cash on Jenson Button to be Britain’s next F1 WDC… oops!

  34. cant beleve its the first race today!!!!!!!!!

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