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.
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:04.740||+0.217s||35|
|4||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:05.139||+0.616s||33|
|5||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:05.268||+0.745s||37|
|6||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda||1:05.356||+0.833s||37|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:05.379||+0.856s||38|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:05.393||+0.870s||34|
|9||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:05.466||+0.943s||34|
|10||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:05.511||+0.988s||32|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:05.516||+0.993s||39|
|12||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:05.527||+1.004s||36|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:05.624||+1.101s||33|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:05.698||+1.175s||32|
|17||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:05.819||+1.296s||36|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:05.911||+1.388s||35|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:06.014||+1.491s||38|
|20||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||1:06.173||+1.650s||35|