After a slow start to FP1 it was encouraging to see the Haas of Romain Grosjean straight out on track. Followed by much of the field, pushing harder on their race simulations, every lap revealing more of the speed hidden within each team.
Kevin Magnussen encountering technical issues early in the session following an off at turn 1, a water temperature alarm causing the team to pull him off the track. Then around half way through the session and we see Jolyon Palmer crashing at the final corner, this causing the session to be red flagged. A strange incident, the rear spinning up mid-corner and losing traction. Jolyon safely out of the car but clearly confused as to what caused the accident, either way the mechanics will have their work cut out to repair the car, new parts permitting.
The session restarting and we see Massa pulling his Williams off the circuit with some form of technical failure, no confirmation but a gear related issue is expected. We then have a consistent session with the filed putting in a solid selection of lap times testing various components and settings. We see Grosjean off, the Haas seemingly having brake issues with wheels locking up, something he complained about during the Barcelona test. Clearly the team is still struggling in this area however the car was still able to run a reasonable number of laps. Elsewhere we see Max Verstappen going wide at turn 12, taking a lot of gravel and grass, just a simple error as the driver explored the limits of the car but a job for the mechanics to clean up for FP3.
Marcus Ericsson beaches his Sauber right near the end of the session, thus launching the virtual safety car. This takes some of the energy out of the session, most cars now having completed their target laps. So, another session of data, we get a clearer picture of the field spread, with Lewis still leading, taking another half a second out over his team mate, proving how much speed there still is within that car. Either way the lap times are representative of what we saw in testing and it will be interesting to see where they all lie after quali. Suffice to say after the first days running, the grid order is as expected, but it’s a long season and anything can happen.