Lewis Hamilton has remained atop the timesheets as Friday’s second practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix came to a close.
The Mercedes driver narrowly edged Ferrari rival and championship leader Sebastian Vettel in another incident-filled session where the entire field struggled for grip around the Red Bull Ring circuit.
After breaking the unofficial lap record in FP1, Hamilton lowered the benchmark on an Ultra Soft tyre run with a 1:05.483 to finish less than two-tenths of a second clear of Vettel, who showed improved pace and consistency on both low- and high-fuel runs during the session.
Vettel managed to split the Mercedes by leapfrogging Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas to the tune of less than one-tenth of a second, although Bottas could have gone quicker were it not for an error in the final sector on a particularly quick lap.
It was a rather untidy session by Bottas’ standards. Not only did his error at Turn 9 cost him a potential shot at top spot on the timesheets, but he also had a wild spin at Turn 6 where he was lucky not to hit the barriers.
Fourth- and fifth-fastest were the two Red Bull Racing runners of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, although both lost track time: Verstappen missed most of the first 30 minutes of the session while a brake issue was rectified, while Ricciardo’s session was brought to an early end with a turbo problem.
A few brake lock-ups aside, Kimi Räikkönen had a relatively quiet FP2 run en route to finishing sixth-fastest, while Kevin Magnussen enjoyed a positive session to put his Haas Ferrari seventh-fastest. Showing the American team’s pace was no fluke, teammate Romain Grosjean finished tenth-quickest.
The pair sandwiched McLaren’s Fernando Alonso – despite a wild spin through Turn 6 late in the session – and Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg, having his first track hit-out after lending his car to reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin in FP1.
Hülkenberg’s teammate Jolyon Palmer had another wretched session, managing just seven laps before his RS17 was sidelined with more mechanical dramas.
Fellow Renault-powered runners Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat also had foreshortened sessions and finished down the order: the former damaged his car with a wild off at Turn 9, while the latter saw his rear brakes catch fire.
Another team to struggle was Williams, which saw Felipe Massa 14th-fastest and rookie teammate Lance Stroll two spots further back. The Mercedes-powered FW40 looked to be handling poorly through the Red Bull Ring’s higher-speed corners, as evidenced by Stroll having numerous off-track excursions through Turns 9 and 10.
The Sauber Ferraris were well off the pace and languished at the bottom of the timesheets. Pascal Wehrlein narrowly outpaced teammate Marcus Ericsson – who seemed to spend more time off track than on it – but both were over a second slower than Force India’s Sergio Pérez, who had a similarly untidy session.
Saturday’s final practice session will begin at 11:00 local time (GMT +2).
|FORMULA 1 GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2017 – FREE PRACTICE 2 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Tyre||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:05.483||30|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:05.630||50|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:05.699||41|
|4.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:05.832||33|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:05.873||27|
|6.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:06.144||54|
|7.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:06.591||43|
|8.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:06.732||27|
|9.||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:06.735||42|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:06.763||52|
|11.||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:06.849||50|
|12.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:06.859||37|
|13.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:06.906||34|
|14.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:07.065||50|
|15.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:07.100||24|
|16.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:07.468||46|
|17.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:07.509||41|
|18.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:07.623||7|
|19.||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:08.782||49|
|20.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:08.870||51|
Image via Sky Sports F1