FP2: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 at Spielberg

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Lewis Hamilton ended up fastest in the afternoon session for the Austrian Grand Prix, edging his team mate Valtteri Bottas. Championship leader Max Verstappen led the early stages of the session, but finished only in P3 in the rain-affected practice.

Although Max Verstappen topped the opening session for the Austrian Grand Prix, the pace dictated by Mercedes indicated that the defending champion team had more in their bags. And that prediction proved just right in the afternoon session with the Anglo-German outfit hitting back to dominate Free Practice 2.

With the clouds seemingly ready to unleash rain on the Red Bull Ring, drivers were in a real rush when the lights switched from red to green at the end of the pit lane to get their afternoon session in motion. In the opening minutes, most of the drivers completed a short stint on Pirelli’s more robust test tyre which the Milan-based tyre supplier wants to debut at Silverstone.

In the early phases of the session, Verstappen continued where he left off in FP1 by topping the table on the test tyre and the medium boots. However, Mercedes bounced back when they mounted the soft C5 compound for their qualifying simulation.

Hamilton registered a time of 1m04.523 to top the session with Bottas 0.189s adrift. Verstappen was unable to keep up with the Mercedes duo and ended up third fastest over two tenths of a second behind.

While Aston Martin was less competitive last weekend, they demonstrated a clear step in form with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel posting the fourth and fifth fastest time.

Ferrari’s duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc endured a difficult afternoon. The Spaniard posted a strong lap on the yellow-banded medium rubber, but he lost that time to track limits. The Monegasque driver was on an eye-catching lap, but he lost control of his SF21 in Turn 9, running wide. When the pair rolled out on to the Red Bull Ring on their fresh set of soft tyres, it started to drizzle which made it impossible for them to get the best out of their car.

After missing the opening session in favour of Roy Nissany, George Russell returned in second practice to finish 17th awhile his team mate Nicholas Latifi was 19th. Haas's Mick Schumacher split the Williams in 18th, while team mate Nikita Mazepin was 20th overall in FP2.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:04.52331
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1:04.712+0.189s34
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:04.740+0.217s35
418Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes1:05.139+0.616s33
55Sebastian VettelAston Martin Mercedes1:05.268+0.745s37
622Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda1:05.356+0.833s37
710Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Honda1:05.379+0.856s38
814Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:05.393+0.870s34
94Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:05.466+0.943s34
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:05.511+0.988s32
1111Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda1:05.516+0.993s39
1231Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:05.527+1.004s36
1355Carlos SainzFerrari1:05.620+1.097s37
147Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:05.624+1.101s33
153Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:05.698+1.175s32
1616Charles LeclercFerrari1:05.708+1.185s33
1763George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:05.819+1.296s36
1847Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:05.911+1.388s35
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:06.014+1.491s38
209Nikita MazepinHaas Ferrari1:06.173+1.650s35