Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen topped the second free practice session for the Chinese grand prix.
The Finnish driver sets a quickest time of 1:36:896 on the red-walled supersoft tyre. Teammate Sebastian Vettel was one tenth adrift in second. Nico Rosberg was the first of the Mercedes in third, two and a half tenths off Raikkonen’s session topping time. Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top four in the sister Mercedes with a time of 1:37:329.
The second free practice session of a grand prix weekend is customarily reserved for longer stints and evaluation of the different tyre compounds for Sunday’s race. As the softest tyre available this weekend the supersoft compound showed signs of degradation after a three lap quali sim and roughly eight laps on high fuel. The indications were that both Ferrari and Red Bull suffered less degradation on the supersoft than Mercedes. In particular, Nico Rosberg experienced a loss of three seconds in laptime over his stint on the supersoft tyres.
However, Hamilton’s stint on the medium tyre, the hardest compound available this weekend, showed a consistent and fast pace. Comparatively, Vettel’s stint on the medium, earlier on in the session, was evenly matched to Hamilton’s.
Although Friday practice sessions are difficult to decipher the signs point to what could be a very competitive Chinese grand prix between Ferrari and Mercedes.