Rosberg turns the tables on Hamilton in FP2

© XPB 

Nico Rosberg set the fastest time of second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as Mercedes opened up a clear advantage over Ferrari.

While it was Lewis Hamilton who led his Mercedes team-mate by half a second in FP1, Rosberg matched that result in the afternoon session as he ended up with a similar margin at the top of the times. Sebastian Vettel had been just 0.1s slower than Rosberg in first practice but saw that gap widen to almost a second on the soft tyre runs in FP2.

Kimi Raikkonen was another 0.2s back from his Ferrari team-mate in fourth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas during a tricky afternoon of running due to the threat of rain.

Light spots of rain fell throughout the majority of the 90-minute session, but the track temperature was high enough to not require drivers to switch from the slick tyres. However, the slightly greasier track conditions led to a number of spinners, with Alexander Rossi sliding at Turn 3 before Max Verstappen had his second spin of the day, this time at Turn 8.

Bottas was another driver to spin as he lost control at Turn 9, before pace-setter Rosberg then ran very deep at Turn 12 and had to slowly return to the track across the grass run-off area.

While Mercedes extended its advantage over the rest of the field, the midfield pack was closely matched on a short circuit as 0.6s covered Ricciardo in fifth place to Verstappen in 14th. Lotus will be encouraged by Romain Grosjean ending the session seventh quickest ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in eighth, Daniil Kvyat in ninth and Felipe Massa tenth.

McLaren dropped further off the pace than it had been in FP1 and there were more reliability worries for the team as Fernando Alonso stopped on track. Alonso had completed just 10 laps when smoke began emerging from the rear of the car and he had to pull over, bringing out the red flags while the stricken McLaren was recovered.

Long runs focused on tyre degradation, with Red Bull telling Ricciardo that a number of drivers were struggling to make the soft tyre last, while Verstappen complained of his medium tyres quickly running out of performance.

AS IT HAPPENED: Brazilian Grand Prix FP2

FP1 report: Hamilton 0.5s clear in first Brazilian practice

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01Nico RosbergMercedes1:12.38542
02Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.84339
03Sebastian VettelFerrari1:13.34541
04Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:13.50043
05Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:13.58539
06Valtteri BottasWilliams1:13.60337
07Romain GrosjeanLotus1:13.63445
08Nico HulkenbergForce India1:13.71043
09Daniil KvyatRed Bull1:13.84840
10Felipe MassaWilliams1:13.87042
11Sergio PerezForce India1:14.05634
12Pastor MaldonadoLotus1:14.12442
13Felipe NasrSauber1:14.13444
14Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:14.22635
15Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:14.32645
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:14.64437
17Marcus EricssonSauber1:14.77238
18Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:15.12910
19Will StevensManor1:16.50135
20Alexander RossiManor1:16.78735