FP2: Bottas tops the disrupted afternoon session

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Portugal, Autódromo Internacional do Algarvept

After topping the first practice session, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas emerged fastest once again at the end of the afternoon session that has been interrupted on multiple occasions.

The second practice session was expected to feature a fully-packed schedule for teams and drivers with Pirelli asking them to carry out test runs on prototypes tyres that could be introduced in 2021. Although the Milan-based company was set to carry over this year's constructions and compounds to 2021, they came up with a set of prototypes to try out at the demanding Portimao circuit. Pirelli still has concerns that next year's car will be improved despite the development restrictions in a way that they can produce dangerous loads.

Teams and drivers were asked to sacrifice the first 30 minutes to carry out the vital tests for Pirelli. Last year, the sport's sole tyre supplier also tried to modify their tyres and conducted some test runs at Austin at the United States Grand Prix, but drivers did not like the modified tyres, leaving Pirelli with no other choice than sticking to their 2019 constructions for this year.

The first part of the session saw drivers steadily complaining about traffic while conducting runs on the prototype tyres. Lewis Hamilton reported serious vibrations on his test tyre, claiming that the vibrating tyres even affected his visibility.

George Russell, Alexander Albon, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel were the first drivers to return to the track with a fresh set of race tyres with all of them opting for the Yellow Medium boots. They quickly beat the previous best time set by Valtteri Bottas.

Interestingly, the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas chose the soft compound for their first run following the prototype testing. The Finn was able to complete a flying lap with a time of 1m17.940 before the session was red flagged. It was Pierre Gasly who was forced to stop on the track after his AlphaTauri AT01 caught fire.


The marshals required some time to clear the track and the session was restarted with 29 minutes left on the clock. Drivers were keen to get out again to carry out qualifying simulations. Hamilton was particularly interested in completing a meaningful hot lap on the soft compound after having been interrupted by the red flag.

However, the action came to a halt once again when Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll collided at Turn 1. The Dutchman tried to overtake the Canadian into Turn 1, but with both being on a hot lap, neither of them wanted to yield. The pair came together which saw Stroll spin around with his Racing Point and getting beached in the gravel trap between Turn 1 and 2.

The session was restarted with drivers getting eight minutes until the chequered flag. Despite the relatively high temperatures, drivers found it particularly hard to generate enough heat into their tyres for the first hot lap. That is why several drivers, including the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were unable to improve their lap times they set on the medium compound. However, the McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz succeeded, ending up third and fifth with their very last flying lap.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:17.94031
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:18.535+0.595s33
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:18.743+0.803s34
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.838+0.898s33
555Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:19.113+1.173s31
65Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:19.175+1.235s33
710Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:19.178+1.238s26
844Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:19.308+1.368s26
931Esteban OconRENAULT1:19.496+1.556s31
1023Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:19.643+1.703s36
1163George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.821+1.881s32
1211Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:19.901+1.961s33
133Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:19.987+2.047s27
146Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:20.465+2.525s32
157Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:20.490+2.550s33
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:20.680+2.740s28
1726Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:20.729+2.789s32
188Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:20.867+2.927s31
1918Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:20.983+3.043s26
2099Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:21.396+3.456s33