Shanghai, FP2: Bottas edges ahead in second practice session
Problems for Leclerc and Kvyat
Formula One World Championship title leader Valtteri Bottas took top spot in second practice for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, narrowly beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel topped the morning session in Shanghai using medium compound Pirelli tyres, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton second and Bottas fifth on soft rubber, but in the FP2 performance runs the Silver Arrows improved, with Bottas eventually edging Vettel by a little under three hundredths of a second and with Hamilton fourth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
After the teams’ early runs, which focused on hard and medium tyres, Vettel was the first to bolt on a set of soft tyres and test his Ferrari’s raw pace. The German set a time of 1m33.357s, but Bottas soon moved past that benchmark, a quick middle sector giving him a 0.027s advantage over the Ferrari driver.
Verstappen slotted into third in an encouraging session for Red Bull. In the morning session the Dutch driver had finished almost half a second off Vettel’s P1 pace but in the afternoon, and on a softer tyre, but in the afternoon he ended the session just 0.221s behind Bottas and almost half-a-second faster than Hamilton, who failed to stitch together a convincing hot lap on softs.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg took fifth place just under 0.6s behind Hamilton, while McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was sixth fastest, 0.045s behind the works Renault, and 0.017s ahead of the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc whose session was ended after 13 laps due to a technical problem.
Lando Norris gave McLaren hope of a strong weekend with eighth place, with the rookie finish just over a tenth off Leclerc.
Daniel Ricciardo, in the second Renault, was ninth and a second off the pace, while Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly finished in 10th place.
Elsewhere, Daniil Kvyat missed much of the session as his team replaced the Honda power unit in his Toro Rosso while Haas’ Romain Grosjean was forced back to the garage briefly when his front wing broke.
|01||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W10||1:33.330||37|
|02||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF90||1:33.357||33|
|03||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB15||1:33.551||29|
|04||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W10||1:34.037||32|
|05||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault RS19||1:34.096||31|
|06||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault MCL34||1:34.141||36|
|07||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF90||1:34.158||13|
|08||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault MCL34||1:34.296||38|
|09||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault RS19||1:34.336||32|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Honda RB15||1:34.455||32|
|11||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38||1:34.551||33|
|12||Alex Albon||Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:34.634||37|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:34.694||20|
|14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Mercedes RP19||1:34.779||37|
|15||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point Mercedes RP19||1:34.784||35|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-19||1:34.788||34|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari VF-19||1:35.704||32|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38||1:35.914||40|
|19||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes FW42||1:36.121||38|
|20||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW42||1:36.229||35|