Bottas Edges Ahead in FP2 in Shanghai


FIA Formula One World Championship title leader Valtteri Bottas took top spot in second practice for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, narrowly beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel topped the morning session in Shanghai using medium compound Pirelli tyres, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton second and Bottas fifth on soft rubber, but in the FP2 performance runs the Silver Arrows improved, with Bottas eventually edging Vettel by a little under three hundredths of a second and with Hamilton fourth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

After the teams’ early runs, which focused on hard and medium tyres, Vettel was the first to bolt on a set of soft tyres and test his Ferrari’s raw pace. The German set a time of 1m33.357s, but Bottas soon moved past that benchmark, a quick middle sector giving him a 0.027s advantage over the Ferrari driver. 

Verstappen slotted into third in an encouraging session for Red Bull. In the morning session the Dutch driver had finished almost half a second off Vettel’s P1 pace but in the afternoon, and on a softer tyre, but in the afternoon he ended the session just 0.221s behind Bottas and almost half-a-second faster than Hamilton, who failed to stitch together a convincing hot lap on softs. 

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg took fifth place just under 0.6s behind Hamilton, while McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was sixth fastest, 0.045s behind the works Renault, and 0.017s ahead of the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc whose session was ended after 13 laps due to a technical problem.

Lando Norris gave McLaren hope of a strong weekend with eighth place, with the rookie finish just over a tenth off Leclerc. 

Daniel Ricciardo, in the second Renault, was ninth and a second off the pace, while Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly finished in 10th place. 

Elsewhere, Daniil Kvyat missed much of the session as his team replaced the Honda power unit in his Toro Rosso while Haas’ Romain Grosjean was forced back to the garage briefly when his front wing broke. 

2019 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 37 1:33.330  
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 33 1:33.357 0.027 0.027
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 29 1:33.551 0.221 0.194
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 32 1:34.037 0.707 0.486
5 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 31 1:34.096 0.766 0.059
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 36 1:34.141 0.811 0.045
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 13 1:34.158 0.828 0.017
8 Lando Norris McLaren 38 1:34.296 0.966 0.138
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 32 1:34.336 1.006 0.040
10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 32 1:34.455 1.125 0.119
11 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 33 1:34.551 1.221 0.096
12 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 37 1:34.634 1.304 0.083
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 20 1:34.694 1.364 0.060
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point 37 1:34.779 1.449 0.085
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point 35 1:34.784 1.454 0.005
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 34 1:34.788 1.458 0.004
17 Romain Grosjean Haas 32 1:35.704 2.374 0.916
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 40 1:35.914 2.584 0.210
19 Robert Kubica Williams 38 1:36.121 2.791 0.207
20 George Russell Williams 35 1:36.229 2.899 0.108

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