Valtteri Bottas quickest in FP2 in Hungary, as Tsunoda completes one lap

30-07-2021 15:06
F1 News
Valtteri Bottas quickest in FP2 in Hungary, as Tsunoda completes one lap

Valtteri Bottas was the fastest man on the track at the Hungaroring in FP2, with a time of 1:17.012 good enough to top the timing sheet. His teammate Lewis Hamilton was just 0.027 seconds behind, whilst the championship leader Max Verstappen was a little further back in P3. Yuki Tsunoda managed to complete just one flying lap after damage to his car needed to be repaired.

Max Verstappen had topped FP1, with Valtteri Bottas just 0.061 seconds behind him in P2, but the Finn was able to turn those tables, and beat the Dutchman in the afternoon session.

Verstappen was 0.298 seconds behind the Mercedes driver, with Hamilton splitting the two of them. Esteban Ocon impressed in fourth place, going quicker than Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull. The Mexican was fifth, whilst Pierre Gasly impressed once more with a P6 finish.

Ocon's Alpine teammate was in seventh, with Sebastian Vettel, Lando Norris, and Lance Stroll rounding off the top 10.

As it happened

Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver out on track, with Carlos Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi following him out. It was a busy start to the session, with almost every car going out immediately, keen to get laps in before the rain that was expected to fall on Saturday.

Yuki Tsunoda's AlphaTauri needed work after his crash in FP1, and he was the only driver yet to emerge after 10 minutes of the session. His team fitted a new gearbox and a new rear end, and it continued a fairly difficult start to life in Formula 1 for the Japanese driver. He finally entered the track with two minutes remaining.

By that time, Bottas was already at the top of the standings, after setting three purple sectors. He was 0.205 seconds ahead of Verstappen after the Dutchman's first flying lap.

The regular top three were at the head of the timing sheet after their first runs, displacing the likes of Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso were had all been top at one point in the first five minutes.

Sergio Perez was the penultimate driver out on track, and he immediately went into fourth place. However, his lap wasn't great, and at a track that he's admitted he doens't like, he struggled to keep up with his teammate and the Mercedes'.

At the other end of the scale, George Russell impressed once more in his Williams, putting it ninth fastest after a storming lap. He was, however, soon pushed down to 11th after the pair of Aston Martin drivers put on the soft tyres. Lance Stroll went fourth quickest, whilst Sebastian Vettel split the two Mercedes' and moved into P2.

The soft tyres quickly showed how much quicker they were, with the Mercedes driver going around one second faster than on the mediums. Between Bottas in P1 and Ocon in P4 was over seven tenths, proving the difference between the two top teams. However, with the softs so much quicker, it could make Q2 very interesting; do Red Bull and Mercedes risk the mediums, or start the race on the softs?

Lando Norris went sixth on the softs, but was demoted down to ninth after several others went quicker.

Then came the race runs. Aston Martin were the first to do these practices, but others soon followed. 

Tsunoda then finally entered the track with two minutes to go.

In total, 538 laps were completed by the 20 drivers who took to the track.

Alpine and Aston Martin impress

Both Alpine and Aston Martin impressed as they try to close the gap to AlphaTauri in fifth place in the Constructors' Championship. Vettel and Stroll were briefly P2 and P4 after putting on the soft tyres, and ended the session in x and x. Vettel's time of x was 0.x seconds quicker than his teammate.

Alpine, on the other hand, also had both drivers in the top 10, with Ocon looking like he's found some form. The Frenchman ended FP2 with the fourth quickest time, whilst Alonso was P7 with a time of 1:18.169. Ocon set a 1:17.759 lap time.

Tsunoda's problems continue

After crashing in FP1, and causing yet another red flag, Yuki Tsunoda didn't have best start to Friday. It came after a difficult start to life in Formula 1, and Tsunoda needed a new gearbox, and rear end after the aforementioned crash. With the mechancis hard at work, he sat and watched the drivers lap around the Hungaroring, and was unable to even drive a single lap for the first 58 minutes of FP2. In fact, he managed just two laps, with one of them his out-lap. His time was good enough for 

That means, with the predicted rain, he's at a severe disadvantage, and might even face a challenge to get out of Q3, something he's failed to do on several occasions this season.

Ferrari outside of the top 10

Leclerc and Sainz both finished outside the top 10, but were crucially quicker than Daniel Ricciardo, who ended FP2 in 13th. Getting a free tyre choice could be a useful outlet in the race, but they'll be disappointed to be slower than both Alpine and Aston Martin. Work to do.

Final standings

1. Valtteri Bottas

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Max Verstappen

4. Esteban Ocon

5. Sergio Perez

6. Pierre Gasly

7. Fernando Alonso

8. Sebastian Vettel

9. Lando Norris

10. Lance Stroll

11. Charles Leclerc

12. Carlos Sainz

13. Daniel Ricciardo

14. Kimi Raikkonen

15. George Russell

16. Nicholas Latifi

17. Yuki Tsunoda

18. Mick Schumacher

19. Antonio Giovinazzi

20. Nikita Mazepin

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