World Championship leader, Valtteri Bottas, finished the second free practice session in first place followed closely by Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari started off the day with a 2 tenth advantage over their rivals through the time set by Sebastian Vettel in FP1, but Bottas took over in FP2 with a time of 1m33.330s on the softest Pirelli compound after the drivers had completed their qualifying simulation sessions.
Vettel ended up only 0.027s off of the Finn’s time on the same tyre compound with Max Verstappen a further two tenths behind him for Red Bull, an encouraging result for the Honda powered squad.The Dutch established the fastest first sector time of the session and a mistake he made in the last corner suggests his lap could have been even quicker.
Lewis Hamilton ended the session seven tenths slower than his Mercedes teammate finishing the day in fourth, both Mercedes drivers having a spin during their out-laps.
Renault had a great session with Nico Hulkenberg finishing fifth, only 0.059s off Hamilton’s pace, the German being followed by Carlos Sainz for McLaren and Charles Leclerc for Ferrari, who finished the session eight tenths off the pace set by Bottas mainly because of traffic issues during his flying laps.
Leclerc later did not leave the garage for a second time, his team being preoccupied with doing some “checks of his car’s cooling system”.
Lando Norris classified 8th for McLaren ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and the top 10 was competed by the second Red Bull car driven by Pierre Gasly.
Raikkonen ended up 11th for Sauber, 1.2s off the pace followed by Alex Albon’s Toro Rosso. Meanwhile, the other Toro Rosso had it’s engine replaced as a precaution and as a consequence Daniil Kvyat was stuck in the garage for the first part of the session. The Russian ended up coming on the track with 40m remaining on the clock and finished the session 13th.
P14 and P15 went to the two Racing Point drivers, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez respectively, while a quite disappointing session for the Haas team saw their drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean ending up P16 and P17 respectively.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished in P18 for Sauber ahead of only the two Williams drivers, Robert Kubica ended P19 and Russell ended up P20, the British team padding out the bottom of the pecking order yet again.
Foto-credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1