Felipe Massa set the fastest time during the second free practice session at the Chinese GP weekend. The Brazilian was particularly impressive on the softer tyre while Mercedes still looked strong, mainly on the medium tyres.
The first 30 minutes of the session were dominated by the Mercedes AMG cars who seemed to have the edge on the harder tyres. Nico Rosberg had a slight edge over his teammate, confirming Nico's assumed status of being a "Shangai specialist".
By that time, Sergio Pérez had a meeting with the tyre wall as he gently slid rear end first into the outside wall of one of the high speed turns. The Mexican simple went into the corner slightly too quickly, lost the rear end and slid through the gravel trap. The car however wasn't damaged and he could safely get it back to the pits.
Giedo van der Garde and Valtteri Bottas had similar issues but were able to keep their cars out of the wall. Max Chilton on the other hand had a technical issue on his car as a safety system simply cut out the engine while running on track. The Marussia MR02 was later recovered to give Chilton another go, only to see him stop at the end of that lap after spraying fluid all over the track.
After that half hour, most teams started switching to the soft, yellow marked tyre, initially still with Mercedes on top, but as time progressed, Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus and both Ferrari drivers stated with faster times that Mercedes will not be allowed to run away from them. At two thirds of the session, Massa ends up on top of the timesheet, impressing his engineer Rob Smedley, who later dubbed the pace "not great, but incredible", even during a longer stint simulation with the harder tyre later on.
Indeed, Massa and Rosberg chose to do a longer series of laps in the final 30 minutes, with the Ferrari looking rather impressive on controlling tyre wear. Alonso switched back to the medium later on, while Hamilton switched earlier, making him the longest runner on the mediums this afternoon.
|4||9||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:35.819||0.479||35|
|5||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.092||0.752||31|
|7||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:36.496||1.156||39|
|8||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.514||1.174||32|
|9||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.595||1.255||33|
|10||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.791||1.451||27|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:39.271||3.931||21|