Rosberg hits the front, tyre trouble for Palmer in Spain


Mercedes' Nico Rosberg hit the front in second free practice at the Spanish Grand Prix, in a session that was briefly paused following a spectacular tyre blowout from Renault's Jolyon Palmer.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen led a Ferrari one-two in FP1 with Rosberg - who leads the drivers' standings after winning the first four races of the season - down in third.

However, in that session, Vettel and Raikkonen were the only drivers to test out the soft tyres and when Rosberg put on the softs he clocked a time of one minute and 23.922 seconds - the fastest of the day.

Raikkonen had led in the early stages and was second fastest overall.

World champion Hamilton was only third when using the soft tyres, while Vettel was fourth this time around.

Max Verstappen, making his Red Bull debut this weekend, was sixth in FP1 and another solid outing saw him clock the eighth fastest time in Friday's second session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Palmer's incident brought out the red flag when his tyre blew out on the start-finish straight, prompting provider Pirelli to confirm that they are investigating the cause of the failure.

The Briton later returned to track after his car had been brought back to the pits, and he finished 17th quickest overall.

Jenson Button (McLaren) also had trouble after his engine failed on the entry to the pit lane, but the Briton did later return to complete more laps.

There was rain in Spain towards the latter part of the session, but not enough for teams to switch to the intermediate tyres.


1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:23.922
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:24.176
3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:24.641
4 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:25.017
5 Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso) 1:25.131
6 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:25.194
7 Fernando Alonson 1:25.342
8 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:25.375
9 Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.437
10 Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1:25.453