Hamilton on top in Chinese practice 2

Lewis Hamilton made sure that McLaren stayed on top of the timesheets, after setting a blistering lap in the second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton set his time mid-way through the session, bumping Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg to second. Jenson Button continued his strong start to the weekend in third – although he ended the session nearly four tenths off his team-mates’s efforts.

Ferrari continued to have a poor start to the weekend, with both of its drivers well down the order. Although Fernando Alonso was able to complete 33 laps, after his technical problems in practice one, he could not challenge the front runners and had to settle for tenth. Despite this, the Spaniard was able to lap three tenths of a second faster than Felipe Massa (11th) in the sister car.

Jaime Alguersuari was an impressive eighth for Toro Rosso as team-mate Sebastien Buemi sat out the session, following his horrifying accident in the first practice.

Toro Rosso has confirmed that Buemi’s crashed was called by a front right upright failure – which was part of a raft of new parts introduced onto the STR5 for this weekend. However, the team has not yet determined how the mechanical piece actually failed.

The team also concluded that the wheel tethers, which were connected to the uprights, did not work and thus caused the wheels to break away and pitch over the spectator fences.

Pos  Driver         Team           Time              Laps
1.   Hamilton       McLaren        1:35.217            26
2.   Rosberg        Mercedes       1:35.465  + 0.248   22
3.   Button         McLaren        1:35.593  + 0.376   26
4.   Schumacher     Mercedes       1:35.602  + 0.385   28
5.   Vettel         Red Bull       1:35.791  + 0.574   30
6.   Webber         Red Bull       1:35.995  + 0.778   29
7.   Sutil          Force India    1:36.254  + 1.037   31
8.   Alguersuari    Toro Rosso     1:36.377  + 1.160   43
9.   Kubica         Renault        1:36.389  + 1.172   29
10.  Alonso         Ferrari        1:36.604  + 1.387   33
11.  Massa          Ferrari        1:36.944  + 1.727   36
12.  Petrov         Renault        1:36.986  + 1.769   27
13.  de la Rosa     Sauber         1:37.421  + 2.204   32
14.  Kobayashi      Sauber         1:37.431  + 2.214   33
15.  Barrichello    Williams       1:37.657  + 2.440   30
16.  Liuzzi         Force India    1:37.804  + 2.587   31
17.  Hulkenberg     Williams       1:37.867  + 2.650   29
18.  Trulli         Lotus          1:39.624  + 4.407   35
19.  Kovalainen     Lotus          1:39.947  + 4.730   30
20.  Glock          Virgin         1:40.233  + 5.016   27
21.  Chandhok       HRT            1:41.008  + 5.791   32
22.  di Grassi      Virgin         1:41.107  + 5.890   28
23.  Senna          HRT            1:41.345  + 6.128   32
24.  Buemi          Toro Rosso     no time