Austria, FP2: Mercedes continue to set the pace

Hamilton dominant on the Red Bull Ring

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By Olivier Ferret

29 June 2018 - 16:44
Austria, FP2: Mercedes continue to (...)

Mercedes continued to lead the way in practice for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton again leading a one-two for the defending champions, just under two tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, 0.236 behind title rival Hamilton.

The Silver Arrows had looked comfortable in the morning session and in the second 90-minute session Hamilton and Bottas were again to the fore.

Hamilton’s best time of 1:04.579 was set on soft compound Pirelli tyres early in the session on an afternoon where it seemed there was little time difference in the compounds on offer.

Second-placed Bottas used the ultrasoft tyres to get to 0.176s behind Hamilton, though his time on the purple-banded tyre was just over one hundredth of a second better than his previous best in the session, set on supersoft rubber.

Vettel, meanwhile, moved from softs to ultrasofts late on as he sought to close the gap to Mercedes, and he improved marginally to a time of 1:04.815 that left him 0.236s off the pace.

Daniel Ricciardo took fourth place with a time of 1:05.031, 0.452s behind Hamilton, with the Australian’s best time arriving on supersofts. Max Verstappen, who had finished third behind the Mercedes pair in the morning took fifth spot with an ultrasoft lap just over a tenth slower than his Red Bull team-mate. As in the morning session Kimi Räikkönen ended up sixth in the second Ferrari, this time 0.686s off the pace and a little under half a second behind team-mate Vettel.

As with the morning session Haas’ Romain Grosjean too best-of-the-rest honours. The Frenchman finished the session 0.850s behind Hamilton and 0.130s ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen. The Dane’s afternoon was an eventful one, featuring a couple of minor offs, and late in the session he was told to halt his car in pit lane after being told his team has not correctly fitted a wheel during a pit stop.

Ninth place went to Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly but the Frenchman suffered what appeared to suspension failure during the session after taking too much kerb. His car slid off track with the front left at an angle but it was swiftly recovered to his team’s garage. Stoffel Vandoorne was tenth for McLaren 1.351s off the pace.

Pos.DriverTeamTimeLaps
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:04.579 37
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:04.755 42
03 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:04.815 53
04 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:05.031 48
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:05.125 48
06 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:05.265 42
07 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:05.429 38
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:05.559 41
09 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:05.758 31
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:05.930 47
11 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:05.999 38
12 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:06.096 30
13 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:06.133 43
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:06.199 29
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:06.273 42
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:06.326 49
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:06.332 55
18 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:06.354 48
19 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:06.429 33
20 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:06.626 44

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