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Hungarian GP P2: Nico Rosberg top after Lewis Hamilton crashes out

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 22-07-2016 Matt Morlidge
Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull Racing car is on track for a good grid position in Hungary. © Mark Thompson/Getty Images Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull Racing car is on track for a good grid position in Hungary.

Nico Rosberg took advantage of Lewis Hamilton's early crash and exit from Practice Two to lay down a marker of his own at the Hungarian GP.

Hamilton dominated P1 and looked to be in a class of his own at the Hungaroring but 15 minutes into Friday's second session, the world champion locked up at Turn 11 and span sideways into the barriers generating an impact measured at over 10G.

Also read: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening Hungarian GP practice

Hamilton's crash, which ruled him out of the rest of the session, opened the door for his newly-re-signed team-mate and Rosberg duly topped the timesheets with the quickest time of the weekend so far, a 1:20.435 on the supersoft tyre. So rapid was the German's pace in fact, that it was just two seconds off the all-time lap record in Budapest.

"An impressive day for us, performance-wise," said Rosberg. "Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean we'll be in quite such a strong position tomorrow - but for now it's very positive."

Red Bull and Ferrari, who trailed Mercedes by almost two seconds earlier in the day, closed the gap slightly with Daniel Ricciardo 0.6s behind Rosberg's benchmark on the same compound, while Sebastian Vettel was three tenths behind his former team-mate in third.

But despite the slight improvement, Mercedes are certainly still the team to beat if conditions stay as they are.

"This has been the most dominant day for Mercedes we've seen in a long while," noted Sky F1's David Croft.

<p>Nico Rosberg took advantage of Lewis Hamilton's early crash in Hungary.</p> © Provided by BSkyB

Nico Rosberg took advantage of Lewis Hamilton's early crash in Hungary.

Despite Hamilton only running on the soft tyre before his retirement from the session he still placed fifth, behind Max Verstappen but ahead of the second Ferrari car of Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren, meanwhile, were forced to fit a new power unit into Fernando Alonso's car, while the Spaniard was in the garage for the majority of the session due to a damaged floor.

However, the reliability concerns didn't affect the MP4-31 on-track, with Alonso and Jenson Button finishing just 0.3s behind Raikkonen in seventh and eighth - leading the midfield charge in Budapest.

Rosberg had trailed his team-mate by 0.001s after the initial runs on the soft tyre, but Hamilton's shunt into the wall red-flagged the session and ruled him out of any qualifying simulations.

A routine check-up was mandatory after the impact triggered a sensor on Hamilton's W07 but Mercedes decided against further running despite the minimal damage to the car.

The spin may have been partly down to the Hungaroring's new asphalt, which caught out many drivers lacking grip, and now sees Hamilton playing catch-up after missing out on valuable running.

Practice Two time-sheet:

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:20.435

2. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:21.030

3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:21.348

4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:21.770

5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:21.960

6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:22.058

7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:22.328

8. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:22.387

9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:22.449

10. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:22.653

11. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, 1:22.673

12. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:22.681

13. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:22.689

14. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:22.773

15. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:22.864

16. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:22.948

17. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 1:23.347

18. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:23.437

19. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:23.528

20. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:23.986

21. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1:23.992

22. Rio Haryanto, Manor, 1:24.265

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