Chinese GP: Hamilton beats Raikkonen by 0.007s in FP2

Lewis Hamilton pipped Kimi Raikkonen to fastest time in the second Formula 1 free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix by just seven thousandths of a second.

Chinese GP: Hamilton beats Raikkonen by 0.007s in FP2
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H sparks
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 sparks
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37 Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11 Mercedes

Raikkonen set the pace on the first runs in the session on soft Pirellis, just over a tenth-of-a-second ahead of Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver then became the first frontrunner to complete a qualifying simulation on ultrasofts to go top with just over an hour of the 90-minute session remaining.

Hamilton, who had a brief off during his first run after locking up while going past Esteban Ocon's Force India and another late in the session when back on softs, set his best session time of 1m33.482s despite an oversteery moment in the final corner.

Raikkonen was the last of the frontrunners to bolt on ultrasofts, ending up seven 0.007s slower and relegating the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to third place by just 0.033s.

The Ferrari driver looked to have the pace to take top spot but had to go around the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson into Turn 11, which potentially cost him enough to make the difference between first and second.

Sebastian Vettel, in the second Ferrari, was fourth with the top four drivers covered by just 0.108s.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was 0.341s off the pace in fifth place, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo struggled to ninth, 1.075s down having complained about the throttle pedal map and brakes during the session.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest in sixth place having been as high as third early in the qualifying simulations.

He lapped 0.145s fastest than Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, with the second Renault of Carlos Sainz ending up eighth.

Fernando Alonso was 10th fastest for McLaren, 1.150s off the pace, having benefitted from a tow from teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who was on an in-lap, on the long back straight.

Force India driver Sergio Perez was 11th ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix hero Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso, with Ocon 13th.

Vandoorne was 14th fastest ahead of Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley and Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin.

Vandoorne's session came to an early end with just under 15 minutes remaining when he stopped on track with a loose wheel.

Romain Grosjean had a spin onto the runoff at Turn 11 on his performance run, ending up 18th fastest behind the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc.

Lance Stroll was slowest having also spun on his qualifying simulation at the Turn 8 right hander, saying "I just lost the rear" over the radio.

Light rain feel in the closing stages of the session, although this was far too late to have any impact on the overall order, with Alonso, Hartley, Gasly, Perez, Ocon and Ericsson all briefly taking to the track on intermediate rubber.

Ericsson suffered a spin at the hairpin in the final minute, complaining about the brake map over the radio.

ClaDriverChassisEngineLapsTimeGap
1 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 26 1'33.482  
2 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 26 1'33.489 0.007
3 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 27 1'33.515 0.033
4 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 27 1'33.590 0.108
5 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 26 1'33.823 0.341
6 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 30 1'34.313 0.831
7 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 26 1'34.458 0.976
8 spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Renault Renault 28 1'34.473 0.991
9 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 26 1'34.557 1.075
10 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 23 1'34.632 1.150
11 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 30 1'34.792 1.310
12 france Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda 33 1'34.849 1.367
13 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 30 1'34.874 1.392
14 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault 22 1'35.163 1.681
15 new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 37 1'35.333 1.851
16 russia Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes 31 1'35.340 1.858
17 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 29 1'35.624 2.142
18 monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 26 1'35.916 2.434
19 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 26 1'36.471 2.989
20 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 19 1'37.147 3.665
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