Sebastian Vettel topped the second free practice session at the Shanghai International Circuit in China.
The German completed 34 laps, with a best of 1:37.688, only just over one tenth ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel spent a period of the session working on long stints, as Red Bull continue to gather information on the new Pirelli rubber.
Hamilton for his part clocked up 22 laps, heading off teammate Jenson Button, who registered the 3rd quickest time.
The Mercedes duo followed in 4th and 5th with Nico Rosberg leading Michael Schumacher as the pair concentrated on long runs under high fuel loads. While the pair showed better pace, question marks still remain over the true quality of the MGP-W02.
Felipe Massa was the quicker of the two Ferrari’s come the chequered flag; however the Brazilian took advantage of being the afternoon’s busiest runner.
Massa’s 36 laps contrast with the 17 that fellow Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso banked. The Spaniard missed much of the session due to an hydraulics problem.
Several drivers had offs during the session. Many were caught out by the excessively dusty conditions – none moreso than Renault substitute Nick Heidfeld.
The German veteran suffered his second accident of the day on the long spiralling run through turn 2. Upon losing traction, Heidfeld’s R31 careered off the road and slammed the barrier, destroying another front wing.
Heidfeld eventually finished 8th in the session – just one place and 0.056 ahead of his Russian teammate Vitaly Petrov.
Mark Webber could only manage 10th quickest in the second session. The Australian struggled with poor low fuel form, although the RB7 displayed solid pace on longer stints.
Rubens Barrichello tested a new exhaust system on his FW33 during the session. The Williams driver could only manage 16th place after complaints that the car actually lost some performance.
Vitantonio Liuzzi only managed three laps for Hispania following an hydraulics failure. Despite that, the Italian still jumped both Virgin racers in the time sheets.
Force India could not get Paul di Resta out in second practice – the young Scot was ruled out due to a fuel pressure problem.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.688s 34 2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.854s + 0.166 22 3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.935s + 0.247 31 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.943s + 0.255 34 5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m38.105s + 0.417 29 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m38.507s + 0.819 36 7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m38.735s + 1.047 35 8. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m38.805s + 1.117 26 9. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m38.859s + 1.171 31 10. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m39.327s + 1.639 33 11. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.538s + 1.850 33 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m39.667s + 1.979 37 13. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.771s + 2.083 18 14. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.779s + 2.091 17 15. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.828s + 2.140 25 16. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m39.925s + 2.237 32 17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.953s + 2.265 30 18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m40.476s + 2.788 30 19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m41.482s + 3.794 32 20. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m42.902s + 5.214 25 21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m43.850s + 6.162 3 22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.008s + 6.320 35 23. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.747s + 7.059 12