Max Verstappen dominates Free Practice yet again in FP2, as he goes to the top for the second time this weekend, followed by a surprising Daniel Ricciardo and Estaban Ocon in a truly unique FP2.
Early on in the session, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. faced difficulties as he did in FP1. The slow drizzling on the track at the start had led to the Spaniard running wide and spinning at Turn 4-5, momentarily bringing out the yellow flags. There was also a prediction for light showers today, with thunderstorms for Saturday and Sunday.
10 minutes into the session, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel momentarily took provisional P1 with a time of 1:05.934, only to eventually be overthrown by Lewis Hamilton. Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll was not far behind, demonstrating Aston Martin’s potential improvement from last weekend.
Sainz was not the only one to succumb to the Red Bull Ring, as Williams’ Nicholas Latifi spins at Turn 6, going off into the gravel, bringing out the yellow flags. Haas’ Nikita Mazepin also went off into the gravel, giving glimpses into the difficulties of the Red Bull Ring.
AlphaTauri had a disastrous session as Pierre Gasly was unable to set a time due to an alleged power unit issue, currently being checked by Honda. In other news, Yuki Tsunoda faced some difficulty getting his car out of false neutral, 30 minutes left to the session.
Alpine has put up a superb performance in FP2 a both Estaban Ocon and Fernando Alonso snuck their way into the top 5 at P3 and P5 respectively. They displayed glimpses of what could be Alpine’s long-run race pace this weekend, which was a promising sight indeed.
Mercedes have had far from a perfect FP2 at the Styrian Grand Prix. While Hamilton finished the session in fourth, Valterri Bottas finished at an abysmal twelfth place. Bottas spun while exiting the pit box to add to his woes, prompting a post-race investigation from the stewards.
McLaren has had an eventful FP2, with both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris setting commendable laps during the session. Ricciardo was three-tenths of a second away from session leader Max Verstappen, a testament to Ricciardo now used to the MCL-35M.
After the chequered flag, the session went as follows:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:05:412|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes||+0.336|
|3||Estaban Ocon||Alpine Renault||+0.378|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+0.384|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||+0.415|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||+0.522|
|7||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes||+0.582|
|8||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||+0.667|
|9||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||+0.677|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||+0.733|
|11||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||+0.735|
|12||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+0.839|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||+0.885|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda||+1.039|
|16||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||+1.216|
|17||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||+1.474|
|18||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||+1.992|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||+2.257|
|20||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||DNS|