Hamilton comfortably clear in FP2


Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to the quickest time in second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, finishing the session with a comfortable 0.604s advantage over his Mercedes team-mate. Hamilton's best time of 1:49.189 was set on the soft compound, but when Rosberg attempted his fast lap he lost time at Les Combes. Fernando Alonso was within 0.14s of Rosberg as he kept his Ferrari as the best of the rest for the second session running. The session was punctuated by two red flags caused by accidents involving Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez. Maldonado's mistake was bizarre as he drifted onto the grass after exiting Malmedy and lost control of the car on the way down to Pouhon. He clouted barriers on both sides of the track, ripping the right rear wheel off his Lotus and giving the marshals a considerable clean-up job. The session got back underway soon after, but just before the half hour mark Gutierrez spun at Blanchimont. The spin was caused by a technical problem which Sauber is investigating, but he did not make contact with the wall, giving the marshals a relatively easy job to clear the Sauber once the red flags were out. Although Felipe Massa was able to improve on his morning effort with the fourth fastest time, he was still 1.138s off Hamilton, which is an ominous gap if Williams wants to contend for victory with Mercedes in normal conditions this weekend. Jenson Button put McLaren fifth fastest and was ahead of the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas. Daniil Kvyat put in an impressive lap to take seventh in the Toro Rosso ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. However, both Red Bulls struggled with reliability issues as Ricciardo completed 13 laps and Sebastian Vettel managed just two before an engine change was needed. After limited running in the first practice session, it is not the start to the second half of the season the world champion would have been hoping for. Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne and a promising performance from Adrian Sutil in the Sauber, who was less than 0.4s off the top ten in the Sauber. Kimi Raikkonen was down in 15th, 3.045s off Hamilton and only 0.5s quicker than Jules Bianchi's Marussia. However, Raikkonen had issues to contend with, with Ferrari calling him back into the garage mid-way through for new parts following a misfire, meaning the afternoon may not be representative of his pace.