F1 Qatar GP: Bottas tops FP2 from Gasly and Verstappen

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas led Pierre Gasly in second practice for Formula 1’s 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen third just ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton.

F1 Qatar GP: Bottas tops FP2 from Gasly and Verstappen

Just after darkness had fallen at the Losail circuit, Friday’s second session got underway, with Kimi Raikkonen leading the pack out of the pits and setting the opening time during the early running on the harder compounds.

Raikkonen’s 1m41.721s was immediately beaten by Carlos Sainz Jr’s opening time of 1m26.364s – a full effort compared on that hard tyres to the Alfa’s early installation effort.

The first place benchmark tumbled and was shared around during the first 15 minutes of the session, during which Hamilton, on an out-lap briefly got in Bottas’s way as they approached the Turn 6 hairpin, with the world champion going off into the runoff as a result.

Charles Leclerc, Yuki Tsunoda and Fernando Alonso all had brief moments at the head of the order before Verstappen posted his opening flier – a 1m24.285s on the mediums.

Tsunoda, running the same rubber, then went faster on a 1m24.233s before Verstappen, who’s run had continued, moved back in front on a 1m23.743s.

A few minutes later, Hamilton and Bottas, also on the mediums, jumped ahead – the Briton going quickest with a 1m23.604s before Bottas edged him with a 1m23.324s and the action died down as the session’s opening quarter ended.

After a brief lull, the first drivers were sent out for their qualifying simulation efforts on the softs just before the halfway mark.

Bottas was the first of the frontrunners to do so, the Finn posting a 1m23.154s that bettered his first place benchmark, but losing that time for running to wide out of Turn 7 – the Finn apparently unaware that race director Michael Masi’s altered instructions issued after FP1 that declared any driver going off the purple and red kerbs at any corner, not just those five initially under scrutiny by the FIA, would have the lap in question deleted.

But Bottas nevertheless did improve the quickest time as he went for a second go on the softs a few minutes later, posting a 1m23.148s just past the 30-minute mark.

In the meantime, Hamilton had posted a time that left him third, while Gasly slotted into second with a 1m23.357s and Sergio Perez backed out of a flier on the softs after encountering too much traffic.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Verstappen’s qualifying simulation runs started with just under 25 minutes remaining, the Dutchman, who topped FP1, going very wide out of the long left-hand Turn 10 and losing time, winding up 0.431s back from Bottas.

After a brief trip to the pits, Verstappen went again on the softs and improved his personal best, albeit with a slightly slower time in the final sector, to close to 0.350s behind Bottas and demoting Hamilton to fourth.

Behind the leaders came Lando Norris and Lance Stroll, then Tsunoda and Perez – who did post a flier on the softs, with the Mexican slotting in into eighth, 0.639s slower than Bottas’s best.

Perez lost a chunk of time in the final 20 minutes as Red Bull worked on his DRS activation in its garage, after both of the RB16Bs had been spotted with their rear wings oscillating heavily with the DRS open at the end of the main straight.

Sebastian Vettel, who was frustrated to encounter both Hamilton and Perez going slowly on in laps as he began his soft-tyre run in the middle of the session, ended up ninth, with Sainz closing out the top 10.

The Spaniard was another driver to run wide onto the astroturf strip parallel to the runoff beyond Turn 10, kicking up a huge plume of dust and sand as he did so, having gone wide there to pass Vettel.

Alonso ended up 12th ahead of Leclerc, who picked up a €200 fine for going 1.6km/h over the 80km/h speed limit at the pitlane entrance with 25 minutes completed, whole Daniel Ricciardo ended up 14th in the second McLaren.

F1 Qatar Grand Prix - FP2 results

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 27 1'23.148  
2 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 27 1'23.357 0.209
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 20 1'23.498 0.350
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 1'23.570 0.422
5 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 24 1'23.632 0.484
6 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 26 1'23.705 0.557
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 28 1'23.735 0.587
8 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 20 1'23.787 0.639
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 27 1'24.020 0.872
10 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr Ferrari 28 1'24.033 0.885
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 29 1'24.041 0.893
12 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 25 1'24.056 0.908
13 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 23 1'24.095 0.947
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 24 1'24.135 0.987
15 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 26 1'24.631 1.483
16 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 27 1'24.954 1.806
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 23 1'25.072 1.924
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 28 1'25.209 2.061
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 27 1'25.575 2.427
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 0    
shares
comments

Related video

Horner: Red Bull ready to protest Mercedes F1 rear wing
Previous article

Horner: Red Bull ready to protest Mercedes F1 rear wing

Next article

F1 Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Qatar

F1 Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Qatar
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023