Scuderia Ferrari appear to have found their form back, after an unusually poor weekend in Austin two weeks ago. With Vettel and Leclerc on top of the timesheets, the competition will be pushing hard to reverse fortunes by tomorrow.
The session barely got started, and Robert Kubica found himself in the barrier. The Polish Williams driver already had to sit out first practice to give test driver Nicholas Latifi a chance, and just on his second lap of the day, he crashed out, making for an extremely short day of running for him.
Conditions were much better than in the morning, so for everybody else, it became a pretty busy session. Most drivers completed more than 30 laps, though admittedly, they are quite short at Interlagos.
About halfway into the session, Vettel recorded his best time while others were still gearing up for their flying laps. Verstappen came close on his first run, but in the end couldn't match either of the Ferrari drivers.
Neither did the Mercedes, although it seemed like they were the best on the longer runs. Lewis Hamilton especially seemed to be at ease.
Amidst these flying laps was a bit of frustration from Hamilton about Bottas, as he found his team mate was overdoing a slow approach up to his next flying lap. Hamilton aborted his lap immediately, as did Vettel, but he clearly wasn't that pleased with the Finn's action.
Later on, the skies turned darker again, though rain wasn't coming for the remaining of the session. Maybe worse was a loss of power for Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi, who returned to the pits, and stayed there.
Second practice also brought a disappointing end of the day for Scuderia Toro Rosso. First, Pierre Gasly pulled over with an apparent power unit issue, while minutes later, the second Toro Rosso was also out of action when Daniil Kvyat crashed out. He too may have been experiencing technical problems.
Behind the top, many teams had their drivers wide apart from one another. Haas for instance saw Magnusen go 6th fastest, while Grosjean couldn't do better than 16th. At Renault, Ricciardo was 7th and Hulkenberg 11th. McLaren had an even harder time, with Sainz only just in the top 10, and Noris only faster than both Williams.
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:09.351||+0.134s||33|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:09.373||+0.156s||37|
|5||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:09.440||+0.223s||39|
|6||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:10.143||+0.926s||38|
|8||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:10.210||+0.993s||39|
|9||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:10.275||+1.058s||31|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:10.310||+1.093s||38|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:10.352||+1.135s||26|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:10.419||+1.202s||36|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:10.424||+1.207s||34|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:10.443||+1.226s||31|
|16||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:10.504||+1.287s||38|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:10.568||+1.351s||33|
|18||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:10.700||+1.483s||41|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:11.818||+2.601s||36|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||-||-||2|