FP2: Bottas stays on top as Mercedes demonstrate their superior pace

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Tuscany Ferrari 1000, Autodromo Internazionale di Mugelloit

Valtteri Bottas continued where he left off in the opening session by setting the fastest lap in the afternoon. Lewis Hamilton finished second fastest, demonstrating the mighty pace of Mercedes' W11.

After an intense first practice session, drivers were keen again to roll out on to the track to gain experience on the thrilling Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit.

Romain Grosjean posted the first timed lap with a 1m19.257, but that was quickly beaten by Lando Norris who registered a 1m18.658 on the C2 medium compound. The Frenchman had a troublesome start to his session as he experienced technical issues on his fifth lap which then forced him to head back to the pits.

On his second flying lap, Charles Leclerc had a spin. He could continue, but decided to pit at the end of the lap. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel complained about tyre overheating on the radio, claiming that a single cool-down lap is not enough between timed laps as the tyres do not cool down enough.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were the last drivers to take it to the track. It did not last long for the Mercedes duo to demonstrate the speed of their absolutely dominant car with Bottas flying to the top with a time of 1m18.019 on the medium compound. His teammate was six tenths of a second slower on the hard compound.

On their second flying lap, Bottas improved to a 1m17.997 while Hamilton also managed to shave around four tenths of a second off his previous best time.

With 57 minutes left on the clock, Sebastian Vettel returned to the track, becoming the first driver to complete a qualifying simulation in the afternoon. The German set a time of 1m18.498 that was over half a second slower than Bottas’ time that the Finn posted earlier on the medium tyres.

Leclerc also failed to impress on his soft tyre run, beating his teammate only by a tenth of a second. On his first hot lap on the red-walled soft tyres, McLaren’s Lando Norris span, crashing into the wall at Turn 3. The Briton touched the gravel trap which saw him lose the control of his car. The session was red-flagged.

When the action resumed, Mercedes once again demonstrated that they are untouchable this year. Bottas improved to 1m16.989, beating his teammate by 207 thousands of a second. Red Bull finished third and fourth fastest with Verstappen going seven tenths of a second faster than Albon.

Kimi Räikkönen span at the San Donato corner after having been tagged by Sergio Perez. The Mexican left the pit and was unable to slow his car down, driving into the back of the Alfa Romeo. Both drivers could continue, but the session had to be stopped for a brief pause as the front wing of the RP20 was left on the track.

In the closing minutes, drivers were diligently completing their long runs on heavy fuel loads.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:16.98928
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:17.196+0.207s29
333Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:17.235+0.246s25
423Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:17.971+0.982s28
53Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:18.039+1.050s32
631Esteban OconRENAULT1:18.115+1.126s29
711Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:18.198+1.209s34
810Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:18.244+1.255s30
97Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:18.385+1.396s38
1016Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.400+1.411s27
1118Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:18.462+1.473s37
125Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:18.498+1.509s39
1355Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:18.651+1.662s32
144Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:18.658+1.669s9
1526Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:18.736+1.747s33
1663George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:18.843+1.854s33
1799Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:18.944+1.955s35
186Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:18.983+1.994s31
1920Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:19.113+2.124s32
208Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:19.257+2.268s5