Mercedes-AMG continued its positive start to the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship season by once again locking out the timesheets in Friday’s second practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix.
With Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having finished 1-2 in Friday morning’s first session, the duo repeated the dose in more emphatic fashion in the afternoon’s hit-out as the field attempted their first qualifying-style runs.
Defending champion Hamilton finished two-tenths of a second quicker than Bottas, with the Briton lapping half a second faster than he managed in FP1 with a best lap time of 1:04.304.
Perhaps the only glitch in their session came for Bottas, who was forced into the pits with ten minutes to go when his car became stuck in gear.
Mercedes’ dominance of proceedings was perhaps not that great of a surprise, but the margin to the rest of the field – more than half a second – could raise cause for concern.
The other point of interest was the leader of the chasing pack, which was none other than the Racing Point Mercedes of Sergio Pérez. The Mexican impressed in the new RP20, dubbed the ‘Pink Mercedes’ by a number of rivals, while his teammate Lance Stroll was less than two-tenths slower to finish the session seventh-fastest.
After a quiet FP1, Scuderia Ferrari showed better pace on their first run on the Soft compound tyres, with Sebastian Vettel lapping fourth-fastest in his final season for the Italian team. Vettel finished ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Lando Norris. Teammate Charles Leclerc was ninth-fastest.
Third-fastest in FP1, defending race-winner Max Verstappen was only eighth-quickest in FP2. It was not a very tidy session for the Dutchman, who took a trip through the gravel at the Rauch (Turn 6) left-hander and later admitted that the damage to his front wing prevented him from setting a better lap time. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen had a similar incident at the same corner and just managed to keep his car out of the barriers before recovering.
Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon fared less well, finishing P13, and blotted his session with a spin at Turn 1 as Verstappen had done in FP1.
The tricky uphill right-hander caught out a few other drivers. Daniil Kvyat looped his AlfaTauri Honda through the outfield, while series debutant Nicholas Latifi also spun his Williams during the session and finished slowest overall.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was another driver to damage his front wing. The Spaniard ran over the exit kerbing at Turn 6 and was forced into the pits for a replacement. He finished the session tenth-fastest.
|FORMULA 1 ROLEX GROβER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2020 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 2|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:04.304||42|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:04.501||+ 0.197||37|
|3.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:04.945||+ 0.641||48|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:04.961||+ 0.657||48|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:04.972||+ 0.668||36|
|6.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:05.087||+ 0.783||38|
|7.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:05.135||+ 0.831||48|
|8.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:05.215||+ 0.911||41|
|9.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:05.298||+ 0.994||46|
|10.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:05.352||+ 1.048||37|
|11.||Esteban Ocon||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:05.415||+ 1.111||42|
|12.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:05.443||+ 1.139||34|
|13.||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:05.453||+ 1.149||47|
|14.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:05.608||+ 1.304||49|
|15.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:05.678||+ 1.374||44|
|16.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:05.908||+ 1.604||50|
|17.||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:06.016||+ 1.712||51|
|18.||George Russell||Williams Racing FW43||1:06.125||+ 1.821||40|
|19.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:06.278||+ 1.974||44|
|20.||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing FW43||1:07.124||+ 2.820||45|
Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team