F1 Austrian GP: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2 with Verstappen in third

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas hit back against Red Bull and Max Verstappen, with the pair leading FP2 for Formula 1’s 2021 Austrian Grand Prix ahead of the championship leader.

F1 Austrian GP: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2 with Verstappen in third

After Verstappen followed his dominant Styrian GP victory with first place in first practice for this weekend’s repeat event at the Red Bull Ring, he finished third and 0.217s behind Hamilton in Friday’s second one-hour practice session, which was hit by light rain in the closing stages.

At the start, the pack headed out on a mix of the test tyre Pirelli has brought to be evaluated in the weekend’s opening practice sessions and the regular medium tyre – which for this event is the C4 rubber.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr set the initial first place benchmark at 1m06.495s, before he was beaten by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen setting a 1m06.304s and then Verstappen’s 1m05.773s – the trio all initially running the unmarked prototype tyres, which feature a stronger sidewall construction and are set to be used at the British GP should the data and feedback gathered today be acceptable.

Verstappen brought the fastest time down to a 1m05.709s as his opening run on the test tyres concluded at the end of the opening 10 minutes.

A few minutes later, Bottas emerged on a new set of mediums and blitzed his way to the top of the times on a 1m05.602s, which stood as the fastest time until Verstappen used his own new mediums to strike back to first with a 1m05.239s.

A pack of cars – including Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly – slotted in behind Verstappen with the opening soft tyre runs of the session, before Mercedes sent its two cars out on the red-walled rubber.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Bottas again led the way for Mercedes, as he swept back to first place with a 1m04.712s approaching the halfway point.

Hamilton’s qualifying simulation effort a few minutes later left him with the session’s best times in the second and third sector – with Bottas holding on in the opening segment – and he ended up quickest on a 1m04.523s.

Verstappen was running in the world champion’s wake, but ended up short on a lap that featured the Dutchman clattering the kerbs hard exiting Turn 9 – sparks showering out from behind his RB16B as the front wing and plank struck the kerbs.

After that sequence, the pack switched to long-run data gathering in slippery conditions as the rain drizzled down – with Red Bull ordering Verstappen to keep running in order to gain experience of the slightly wet running in case there is a repeat scenario on Sunday.

Hamilton had an off-track moment in the long runs, skating off into the gravel beyond Turn 4 – where Bottas had just reported the rain was having a particular impact on grip – after locking his right-front and finding the escape road near the barriers to make his way back on to the circuit.

The spits of rain seemed to catch out the Ferrari drivers, who were last in the order with just over 20 minutes to go as they waited to set their flying times on the soft.

When they did, both improved, but Sainz only took 13th, while Charles Leclerc was 16th – after the duo had been second and third in FP1, with Leclerc ahead.

Leclerc also had a wild moment in the early stages of FP2 as he caught a massive oversteer snap going through Turn 9, after he had turned in wide from the outside kerbs on approach and gone suddenly sideways – something he described as a “scary one” over his team radio.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Behind the top three in the final order after the soft tyre runs came Aston pair Stroll and Vettel, then the AlphaTauri duo Tsunoda and Gasly.

Fernando Alonso was frustrated by encountering traffic at the final turns on several occasions in FP2, which he ended in eighth place for Alpine.

Lando Norris and Antonio Giovinazzi – back in for FP2 after giving up his car to Callum Ilott in FP1 – rounded out the top 10.

Norris was another driver to have an off-track incident late in the session, with the McLaren driver spinning exiting the first corner after losing the rear of his car as he accelerated off the big kerbs on the outside.

He spun sideways and to the inside of the track, where he was able to recover, with heavily flatspotted soft tyres.

F1 Austrian GP - FP2 results

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 31 1'04.523  
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 34 1'04.712 0.189
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 35 1'04.740 0.217
4 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 33 1'05.139 0.616
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 37 1'05.268 0.745
6 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 37 1'05.356 0.833
7 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 38 1'05.379 0.856
8 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 34 1'05.393 0.870
9 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 34 1'05.466 0.943
10 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 32 1'05.511 0.988
11 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 39 1'05.516 0.993
12 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 36 1'05.527 1.004
13 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 37 1'05.620 1.097
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 33 1'05.624 1.101
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 32 1'05.698 1.175
16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 33 1'05.708 1.185
17 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 36 1'05.819 1.296
18 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 35 1'05.911 1.388
19 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 38 1'06.014 1.491
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 35 1'06.173 1.650
shares
comments

Related video

Honda dismisses theories about F1 engine performance gains

Previous article

Honda dismisses theories about F1 engine performance gains

Next article

Grand Prix practice results: Hamilton fastest in Austria F1

Grand Prix practice results: Hamilton fastest in Austria F1
Load comments
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021