FP2: Bottas tops Vettel, Hamilton lost

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Valtteri Bottas removed doubt that Mercedes might be unable to compete with Ferrari as he reignited the fight by going fastest, narrowly quicker than Vettel.

As the two fastest men were extremely closely matched, Max Verstappen didn't give in a lot either with a fastest lap that was just 2 tenths shy of the pace setter.

Lewis Hamilton was atypically a bit further behind, admitting 7 tenths to his team mate. The World Champion was at a loss to explain his performance, saying he was unable to explain what was going on with his car.

It was a similar story for Leclerc as the Ferrari driver was by far not able to match his team mate. The situation was complicated further when his session came to a premature end as Ferrari parked his SF90 to investigate a possible problem with the cooling system.

Surrounding Leclerc are both Renault's and McLaren's, seemingly confirming that McLaren is very much back into the leading midfield pack. Sainz was a sigh slower than Hulkenberg in 5th, while Norris and Ricciardo were slower than Leclerc, but still faster than Gasly who completes the top 10 for Red Bull Racing.

Firmly in the middle of the pack is Raikkonen with the fastest Alfa Romeo Sauber, topping 3 duo's of drivers: Toro Rosso, Racing Point and Haas. The latter seemed particularly out of form and seem to be slipping down the order after their Bahrain performance was already less impressive than what they had shown at Melbourne.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 18th fastest. He managed to complete a solid 40 laps after missing out on FP1.

At Williams, Robert Kubica topped Russell for the first time in FP2. The Pole had already been somewhat positive about the change of behaviour on his Williams after FP1.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:33.330-37
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1:33.357+0.027s33
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:33.551+0.221s29
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:34.037+0.707s32
527Nico HulkenbergRenault1:34.096+0.766s31
655Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:34.141+0.811s36
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:34.158+0.828s13
84Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:34.296+0.966s38
93Daniel RicciardoRenault1:34.336+1.006s32
1010Pierre GaslyRed Bull Racing Honda1:34.455+1.125s32
117Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:34.551+1.221s33
1223Alexander AlbonScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.634+1.304s37
1326Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.694+1.364s20
1418Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:34.779+1.449s37
1511Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:34.784+1.454s35
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:34.788+1.458s34
178Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:35.704+2.374s32
1899Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:35.914+2.584s40
1988Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:36.121+2.791s38
2063George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:36.229+2.899s35