Mercedes Continues to Set the Pace in Austria


Mercedes continued to lead the way in practice for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton again leading a one-two for the defending champions, just under two tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, 0.236 behind title rival Hamilton.

The Silver Arrows had looked comfortable in the morning session and in the second 90-minute session Hamilton and Bottas were again to the fore.

Hamilton’s best time of 1:04.579 was set on soft compound Pirelli tyres early in the session on an afternoon where it seemed there was little time difference in the compounds on offer.

Second-placed Bottas used the ultrasoft tyres to get to 0.176s behind Hamilton, though his time on the purple-banded tyre was just over one hundredth of a second better than his previous best in the session, set on supersoft rubber.

Vettel, meanwhile, moved from softs to ultrasofts late on as he sought to close the gap to Mercedes, and he improved marginally to a time of 1:04.815 that left him 0.236s off the pace.

Daniel Ricciardo took fourth place with a time of 1:05.031, 0.452s behind Hamilton, with the Australian’s best time arriving on supersofts. Max Verstappen, who had finished third behind the Mercedes pair in the morning took fifth spot with an ultrasoft lap just over a tenth slower than his Red Bull team-mate. As in the morning session Kimi Räikkönen ended up sixth in the second Ferrari, this time 0.686s off the pace and a little under half a second behind team-mate Vettel.

As with the morning session Haas’ Romain Grosjean too best-of-the-rest honours. The Frenchman finished the session 0.850s behind Hamilton and 0.130s ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen. The Dane’s afternoon was an eventful one, featuring a couple of minor offs, and late in the session he was told to halt his car in pit lane after being told his team has not correctly fitted a wheel during a pit stop.

Ninth place went to Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly but the Frenchman suffered what appeared to suspension failure during the session after taking too much kerb. His car slid off track with the front left at an angle but it was swiftly recovered to his team’s garage. Stoffel Vandoorne was tenth for McLaren 1.351s off the pace.

2018 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 37 1:04.579
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 42 1:04.755 0.176
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 53 1:04.815 0.236
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 48 1:05.031 0.452
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 48 1:05.125 0.546
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 42 1:05.265 0.686
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 38 1:05.429 0.850
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 41 1:05.559 0.980
9 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 31 1:05.758 1.179
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 47 1:05.930 1.351
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 38 1:05.999 1.420
12 Charles Leclerc Sauber 30 1:06.096 1.517
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 43 1:06.133 1.554
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 29 1:06.199 1.620
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 42 1:06.273 1.694
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 49 1:06.326 1.747
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 55 1:06.332 1.753
18 Sergio Perez Force India 48 1:06.354 1.775
19 Fernando Alonso McLaren 33 1:06.429 1.850
20 Lance Stroll Williams 44 1:06.626 2.047

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