McLaren’s Jenson Button topped the timesheet in FP2 though confessed to still struggling to understand his tyres.
McLaren’s Jenson Button topped the timesheet in FP2 though confessed to still struggling to understand his tyres. Button finished the session with a best time of 1:23.399, 0.164 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. Nico Rosberg took third for Mercedes ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren.
“It was a good afternoon but still I think a tough afternoon, trying to understand the tyres,” said Button. “I still don’t quite understand them, but the car still seems to be working pretty well on the softer of the two tyres. On the harder tyres I just can’t get it working. I don’t know why that is but it’s something I need to work out for Sunday.”
Lotus were fifth and sixth with Kimi Räikkönen ahead of Romain Grosjean and the latter the last man in the 1:23 bracket. Mark Webber was seventh in the second Red Bull, Michael Schumacher eighth for Mercedes and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi ninth. Nico Hulkenberg was tenth quickest for Force India ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. Sergio Pérez was 12th in the second Sauber and Pastor Maldonado 13th for Williams. Fernando Alonso, fastest in the morning for Ferrari, was down in 14th, ahead of Paul di Resta who reclaimed his seat for the afternoon’s running. Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo were 16th and 17th respectively for Toro Rosso and Bruno Senna, who also missed the morning session, was 18th in the second Williams.
Behind them the backmarkers lined up in the usual order with Heikki Kovalainen in 19th, Vitaly Petrov 20th, Timo Glock 21st, Charles Pic 22nd and Pedro de la Rosa 23rd. Narain Karthikeyan did not set a time after his car stopped early in the session with an electrical problem. The 23 laps done by team-mate de la Rosa was the next most limited programme, with most runners completing over 30 laps. Senna had the busiest session completing 42 laps.
Track temperature during the afternoon reached 44°C, considerably higher than it had been in the morning. Most drivers set their fastest laps in the first half of the 90-minute session, with many teams spending the second half concentrating on long-run simulations.