Hamilton tops FP2 as fan runs on track

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in FP2 for the Chinese Grand Prix as a fan ran on track in Shanghai.

Early in the session, a person was seen running across the pit straight as cars approached before vaulting the wall in to the pit lane. It was later confirmed that a Chinese fan ran in to the Ferrari garage wanting to try one of the cars, eventually being arrested by police.

The session was not halted at the time, but Felipe Massa later caused a red flag after spinning off at high speed.

Massa lost control of his Williams under braking for the chicane at the end of the long back straight - the fastest point of the circuit - and in trying to correct the car he pitched it sideways towards the barrier on the outside of the track. Massa slid along and made slight contact with the wall, damaging the front wing which got stuck under the car and requiring a tractor to recover the FW37.

The incident came after both Mercedes and Ferrari drivers had set fastest times on the soft tyre, looking to focus on long run pace for the majority of the session. Kimi Raikkonen set the benchmark as he improved by over two seconds on the softs, and team-mate Sebastian Vettel was unable to get within half a second of Raikkonen's time.

Both Ferraris were ahead of Nico Rosberg, who made a mistake at the final corner on his flying lap and ran wide, leaving him 0.7s slower than Raikkonen. However, Hamilton then posted a 1:37.219 to go nearly half a second clear at the top of the times. Despite the gap, Ferrari will still be encouraged to have more than halved the deficit since FP1.

The long run pace provided even better news for Ferrari, with Raikkonen quicker than Rosberg on the medium compound tyre. The lap times backed up Raikkonen's claim from Thursday that Ferrari will be able to push Mercedes close in race trim at all circuits.

Red Bull had a difficult session, failing to run with either car early on. Once on track, Daniel Ricciardo surprisingly went third fastest to split the two Ferraris, but Red Bull's optimism will have been short-lived. Carrying out long runs, Daniil Kvyat came in to the pits for a new front wing but returned to the track with a left rear brake fire. The brakes finally failed at the end of the long back straight, with Kvyat going straight on in to the wall at relatively low speed having been trying to make it back to the pits.

Kvyat ended FP2 in sixth place ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Nasr, Romain Grosjean and Jenson Button. The sight of a McLaren in the top ten came at the end of two sessions where the team appeared to have made another step forward from Malaysia.

Following an encouraging FP1 session, Manor hit trouble with Will Stevens' car as he was only able to complete 8 laps due to a power unit issue, although team-mate Roberto Merhi clocked up an impressive 27 laps himself.

By Chris Medland in Shanghai

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01L. HamiltonMercedes1:37.21932
02K. RaikkonenFerrari1:37.66235
03D. RicciardoRed Bull1:38.31124
04S. VettelFerrari1:38.33930
05N. RosbergMercedes1:38.39935
06D. KvyatRed Bull1:38.73710
07V. BottasWilliams1:38.85027
08F. NasrSauber1:39.03226
09R. GrosjeanLotus1:39.14232
10J. ButtonMcLaren1:39.27529
11P. MaldonadoLotus1:39.44430
12F. AlonsoMcLaren1:39.74327
13M. EricssonSauber1:39.75133
14M. VerstappenToro Rosso1:39.89432
15C. SainzToro Rosso1:39.97128
16N. HulkenbergForce India1:40.15128
17F. MassaWilliams1:40.4237
18S. PerezForce India1:40.86824
19R. MerhiManor1:42.97327
20W. StevensManor1:44.5648