FP2 report: Verstappen tops the session as Vettel struggles to P16

10-07-2020 15:20 | Updated: 10-07-2020 16:02
by Matt Gretton
Breaking News
FP2 report: Verstappen tops the session as Vettel struggles to P16

Max Verstappen has topped the second practice session ahead of this weekend's Formula 1 Grand Prix. The Dutchman will start the race on pole should Saturday's qualifying session be cancelled due to the forecast heavy rain. If that's the case, Valtteri Bottas will start 2nd while Racing Point lock-out the second row of the grid. 

Lewis Hamilton struggled during the session and could only manage to record the sixth-fastest time. He spent much of the second half of the session in the pits.

Should qualifying be cancelled, Sebastian Vettel will start from 16th after a troubled time out on track with the balance of the Ferrari car.

Racing Point dominated much of the afternoon session and constantly set the benchmark time. In the end, Sergio Perez's 1:03.877 was enough for 3rd place. 

Daniel Ricciardo had a big crash. He limped away from the car but has been cleared fit by the medical team. 

How it happened

The weather forecast often dictates how Formula 1 teams operate and that created a frantic second practice session this afternoon. Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow, and the classification from FP2 will form the grid should qualifying be cancelled.

After a five minute delay due to the overrun of F3, Romain Grosjean was the first driver to emerge from the pits.

Big crash

The track was busy, but the red flag soon came out. Ricciardo crashed hard into the wall at turn 9. The Australian hadn't set a time yet, which could cause him some problems if Saturday's qualifying doesn't go ahead.

Once the track was green again, the Racing Point cars raised the bar. Both Perez and Lance Stroll were running with the soft tyres, using up their Saturday allocation given the forecast. Even if running takes place, the teams expect to be using the intermediates and wets.

Halfway through the session, Bottas proved that Mercedes still have the quickest car on the grid. He beat both Racing Points, but Hamilton remained to be off the pace. Mercedes engineers were giving the front of Hamilton's car some attention. 

The problems of Nicholas Latifi and Kevin Magnussen that they experienced during FP1 seem completely solved. They both drove many laps in FP2 to make up for the lost time in the first free practice session.

Qualifying session

Teams started to burn through their soft tyres and the timesheet was constantly changing to make seem like a qualifying session. Verstappen finished the fast flurry of laps on top of the timesheets with a 1:03.660. At the same time, the problems at Ferrari seem anything but solved. Vettel was back in sixteenth place.

Long-runs then became the order of the day with around 25 minutes of the session remaining. Heavier fuel loads and harder tyres meant that the quicker times weren't topped. 

Check out the latest news

You will be logged out and redirected to the homepage