Rosberg sets pace as engine issues halt Ricciardo

Nico Rosberg proved to be the man to beat at Barcelona

Nico Rosberg proved to be the man to beat at Barcelona

Mercedes outlined their pace advantage ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg edged Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in Friday practice.

The Silver Arrows drivers traded times in both 90 minute sessions with Rosberg setting the quickest time of the day to top Practice 1.

Rosberg’s 1:26.828s effort came in a session where he received an official reprimand for a pitlane infringement.

Although Hamilton topped the second session, the reigning world champion was unable to eclipse his team-mate’s P1 time, falling just 0.030s shy of the German.

The pair proved to be in a class of their own with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen the best of the rest in third and fourth overall.

Vettel was almost half a second adrift of Rosberg’s session best.

Daniel Ricciardo cut a frustrated figure at Barcelona

Daniel Ricciardo cut a frustrated figure at Barcelona

It proved to be another difficult day for Daniel Ricciardo with the Australian limited to only 13 laps due to engine issues.

The Red Bull Racing driver was forced to sit out the majority of the second session after his RB11 underwent an engine change.

Ricciardo will not incur a grid drop penalty as his team elected to run a repaired Renault engine from China in Practice 1, which was then replaced by the fourth and final power unit of the driver’s season allocation.

With the FIA set to reject a proposal to allow teams to use five engines per season before receiving a penalty, Red Bull boss Christian Horner expects Ricciardo will receive 10 place grid drop this year.

“I hope we can get through this weekend and Monaco as that is last place you want to take a penalty in Monaco,” said Horner.

“This is the fourth engine in five races, it is not going to be too long (before we get a penalty).”

Ricciardo’s troubles aside, team-mate Daniil Kvyat was fifth fastest showing encouraging signs for the Milton Keynes squad, while Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was sixth quickest.

Jenson Button driving the new liveried Mclaren

Jenson Button driving the new liveried Mclaren

McLaren ended the day on relative high note with Jenson Button seventh fastest in second practice with team-mate Fernando Alonso just outside the top 10 in 11th position.

Practice was devoid of many incidents although there just one stoppage in Practice 2 when bodywork from Romain Grosjean’s Lotus came loose from the rear of his car on the start/finish straight.

The opening practice saw Williams, Lotus and Sauber deploy test drivers with Susie Wolff, Jolyon Palmer and Raffaele Marciello all cutting laps.

GP2 star Marciello emerged quickest of the trio as he pipped Palmer to 12th, while Wolff was 2.8s slower than Rosberg in 14th position.

Result: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Free Practice 2

Position Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.852s 26
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:27.260s +0.408s 37
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.616s +0.764s 35
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:27.780s +0.928s 36
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1:27.943s +1.091s 25
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1:28.017s +1.165s 32
7 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:28.494s +1.642s 31
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:28.525s +1.673s 39
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:28.674s +1.822s 31
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:28.712s +1.860s 36
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:28.723s +1.871s 28
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1:29.086s +2.234s 14
13 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:29.098s +2.246s 4
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1:29.217s +2.365s 34
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:29.333s +2.481s 37
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:29.361s +2.509s 34
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:29.601s +2.749s 38
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:29.707s +2.855s 35
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1:31.929s +5.077s 30
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.751s +5.899s 23

Result: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Free Practice 1

Position Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.828s 28
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.898s 0.070s 27
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:27.806s +0.978s 21
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:27.832s +1.004s 16
5 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:28.132s +1.304s 27
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1:28.529s +1.701s 23
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1:28.785s +1.957s 7
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:28.831s +2.003s 21
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:29.075s +2.247s 9
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:29.140s +2.312s 14
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:29.409s +2.581s 20
12 Raffaele Marciello Sauber/Ferrari 1:29.630s +2.802s 15
13 Jolyon Palmer Lotus/Mercedes 1:29.676s +2.848s 21
14 Susie Wolff Williams/Mercedes 1:29.708s +2.880s 22
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:29.813s +2.985s 22
16 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:29.817s +2.989s 22
17 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:30.096s +3.268s 19
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1:30.110s +3.282s 7
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1:32.471s +5.643s 22
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1:32.647s +5.819s 20

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