Istanbul, FP2: Hamilton quickest again in Turkey

Verstappen finishes in fifth place in second practice


By Olivier Ferret

8 October 2021 - 15:06
Istanbul, FP2: Hamilton quickest (...)

Lewis Hamilton went quickest for the second practice session in a row in Istanbul, beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by just under two tenths of a second as Max Verstappen finished in fifth place over half a second off the pace.

Leclerc led the way on medium tyres at the beginning of the session but he was soon deposed by team-mate Carlos Sainz who set a benchmark of 1:25.819 using softs tyres. Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez then moved ahead on mediums with a lap of 1:25.278 before Mercedes’s Valtteri Bottas claimed top spot with a medium-tyre lap of 1m25.199. Leclerc moved to back to the top but Pérez brought the first phase of the session to a close with a new best time of 1:24.102.

There was a brief as cars returned to the pit lane to make the swich to soft tyres for qualifying runs.

Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners to make his move and he quickest with a time of 1:23.804. Leclerc then slotted into second place, finishing just 0.166s slower than the seven-time champion. Bottas then took third, while Perez finished fourth, half a second adrift.

Verstappen, though, continued to struggle with the understeer that had hampered his morning session and snaps of oversteer in mid-corner and on exit.

His first lap on softs left him almost nine tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace and though his next flying closed the gap to 0.635s he will have plenty of work to do overnight to find a competitive balance for his car.

Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso seventh for Alpine. The Spaniard finished marginally ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon while AlhphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly took P9 ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi.

At the end of the session Ocon went to the grid for a practice start but after stopping he was unable to select a gear and his car has to be recovered by marshals.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12 1:23.804 30
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:23.970 2929
03 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W12 1:24.214 31
04 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:24.373 28
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:24.439 27
06 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:24.525 24
07 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A521 1:24.660 21
08 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A521 1:24.672 26
09 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:24.756 32
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:24.796 29
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:24.882 30
12 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 1:24.903 34
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:25.020 31
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:25.060 23
15 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:25.143 27
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:25.229 30
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:25.307 30
18 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:25.358 29
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:25.480 26
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:25.698 25

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