FP2: Mercedes continues to dominate in the afternoon

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Demonstrating their dominant form, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas topped the second practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix while their rivals Red Bull and Ferrari struggled for pace.

Romain Grosjean was the first driver to post a timed lap with a 1m08.351. The Frenchman spent the majority of the first practice in the garage after reporting an issue related to the brake pedal of his Haas-Ferrari.

Demonstrating their thrilling outright pace, the Racing Point drivers Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez kicked off their afternoon session in stlye, topping the session early on.

Following a different rhythm and programme to their rivals, Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel turned up with the C2 compound, the hardest Pirelli has brought to Spielberg. Disrupted by yellow flags, the Scuderia duo of Leclerc and Vettel clocked in a lap time of 1m06.075 and 1m06.290 respectively.

Following Max Verstappen’s spin in FP1, the first corner proved to be quite tricky once again in the afternoon. Williams driver Nicholas Latifi and AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat executed a spin with both incidents ending harmless.

After 20 minutes into the session, Max Verstappen took over the lead with a lap time of 1m05.379. Hamilton was the last top driver to post a lap time in the second session with the Briton clocking in a time of 1m06.129. On his second timed lap, he improved to 1m05.095 to take over the lead.

With 58 minutes to go, drivers started to take it to the track for qualifying runs. Following strong times for Perez and Stroll, Bottas took over the lead. However, his kingdom did not last long as Hamilton smashed the previous best time with a 1m04.304.

Lando Norris was a bit out of the rhythm with his qualifying simulation lap, clocking in his best time of 1m05.298 quite late. His team-mate Carlos Sainz touched a yellow kerb between turns 7 and 8, causing damage to the right-hand-side of the front wing. In normal conditions, it would have been only a minor issue, but with the condensed nature of the revised 2020 F1 calendar, drivers have to pay extra attention to their car as spare parts can be critical.

In the latter stages of the session, drivers concentrated on longer runs, simulation race conditions. The Mercedes duo, particularly Lewis Hamilton was steps above everyone with higher fuel loads as well.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:04.304-42
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:04.501+0.197s37
311Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:04.945+0.641s48
45Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:04.961+0.657s48
53Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:04.972+0.668s36
64Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:05.087+0.783s38
718Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:05.135+0.831s48
833Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:05.215+0.911s41
916Charles LeclercFERRARI1:05.298+0.994s46
1055Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:05.352+1.048s37
1131Esteban OconRENAULT1:05.415+1.111s42
1226Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:05.443+1.139s34
1323Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:05.453+1.149s47
1499Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:05.608+1.304s49
1520Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:05.678+1.374s44
168Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:05.908+1.604s50
1710Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:06.016+1.712s51
1863George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:06.125+1.821s40
197Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:06.278+1.974s44
206Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:07.124+2.820s45