Having been quickest during the opening session of the title showdown at the Yas Marina Circuit, Hamilton set the pace on the ultrasoft tyre on Friday evening, posting a 1:40.861. Rosberg had failed to improve on his soft tyre lap in first practice - leading to a gap of over 0.3s between the two championship contenders - but he hit back in FP2 to post a 1:40.940.
Sebastian Vettel was third quickest for Ferrari with an impressive lap of 1:41.130. Just a quarter of a second off Hamilton's pace, Vettel suggested the title rivals could have two teams to worry about after Red Bull was the nearest challenger in the opening session. However, the German's session ended early has he was forced to stop between turns 18 and 19 below the Yas Viceroy hotel with a suspected gearbox failure.
Max Verstappen was fourth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, with the two Red Bull drivers separated by just 0.001s, but over half a second slower than Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen was less than 0.1s further back in sixth place, and the Finn was also the last driver within a second of the Mercedes pace.
Track conditions were much more representative for all the teams in FP2, which started at 1700 - the same time as both qualifying and the race - and continued through sunset and finished in darkness.
Valtteri Bottas was seventh for Williams, less than 0.1s clear of Sergio Perez in the Force India, with Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa rounding out the top ten ahead of the McLaren pair of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Having missed out on a lot of running in FP1, Button was again slow out of the blocks in FP2 but recovered to complete 24 laps.
The bottom 12 cars were all in team order save for Jolyon Palmer in 15th and Kevin Magnussen in 20th place, some 0.7s apart. The two Toro Rosso drivers ended the session at the bottom of the times following concerns regarding their cars, with Daniil Kvyat suffering his second left rear puncture of the day.
The first failure saw Kvyat complete just four laps and he managed the same in FP2 as another puncture saw the Russian spin off at high speed at Turn 16. While lucky to not hit the barrier, Kvyat limped back to the pits and didn't run again as FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer inspected the car, with Carlos Sainz also stopping running after just five laps.
|04||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:41.389||24|
|05||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:41.390||33|
|08||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:42.041||35|
|09||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:42.264||36|
|21||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:44.478||5|
|22||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:45.948||4|