Mercedes proved the class of the field as Lewis Hamilton headed team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Friday practice ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Equipped with a raft of new upgrades, the Silvers Arrows produced a blistering pace as Hamilton, who topped opening practice, clocked a 1:20.80s to end the day 0.029s ahead of Bottas in the final 90 minute session.
Ferrari struggled to match Mercedes with Kimi Raikkonen leading the Maranello team’s charge in third, albeit 0.3s adrift of Hamilton.
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fourth a tenth further back in the sister SF70H.
Raikkonen’s long-run programme was interrupted briefly when he was called into the pits with a suspected engine problem.
While he did not encounter any further engine problems, Raikkonen did have a run-in with the Force India of Sergio Perez at Turn 5.
Trying to pass Perez around the outside, Raikkonen was forced to back out and subsequently radioed Ferrari saying he had been “pushed off”.
For his part, Vettel also had a late moment at Turn 4, a snap forcing him to drive out of the gravel.
Like Ferrari, Red Bull was closer to the pace in the afternoon session.
Last year’s Spanish GP, winner Max Verstappen was again ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, by one tenth and finishing 0.636s off Hamilton’s best despite a scrappy session.
Verstappen’s biggest incident of the afternoon was a slide and trip through the gravel at Turn 9 early, which the team attributed to a gust of wind.
Renault was close behind the Red Bulls, seventh-placed Nico Hulkenberg ending the session as the last driver within a second of Hamilton, while Jolyon Palmer was eighth, after stepping aside for Sergey Sirotkin for the morning.
Felipe Massa was ninth for Williams, while Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10, having caused a brief red flag an hour in when his Toro Rosso shed debris after running over the exit kerbs at Turn 9.
McLaren’s fortunes were mixed again, with Stoffel Vandoorne enjoying a reasonable session in 13th, while Fernando Alonso wound up 20th and last.
Alonso, who missed opening practice due to a Honda engine failure, only emerged half an hour into the session after an engine change, and had to wait longer to complete proper runs.
Having turned a session-low 21 laps, Alonso ranted on the radio at one stage that: “The engine feels good. Much slower than before. Amazing.”
Result: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Free Practice 2
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1:21.438s||0.636s||29|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:21.585s||0.783s||35|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:22.265s||1.463s||34|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1:22.520s||1.718s||37|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:22.722s||1.920s||32|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:23.236s||2.434s||27|
Result: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Free Practice 1
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1:22.706s||1.185s||22|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:23.084s||1.563s||17|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:24.004s||2.483s||21|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:24.188s||2.667s||23|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1:24.324s||2.803s||22|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:24.642s||3.121s||18|