Photo: FIA

Verstappen Continues to Set the Pace at the Red Bull Ring


Max Verstappen repeated his timesheet-topping performance from the opening practice session for the Styrian Grand Prix by logging the fastest lap of the afternoon session. The Dutchman finished almost four tenths clear of title rival Lewis Hamilton who had his best time deleted for a track limits infringement.

In the opening part of the session Red Bull driver Verstappen went quickest on hard tyres. Hamilton then made the switch for soft compound Pirelli tyres and the Mercedes deriver jumped to top of the timesheet thanks to a lap of 1:05.796.

The defending champion and last year’s Styrian Grand Prix winner then went for a second attempt and improved by four tenths of a second. But the Briton had gone wide on his lap and his time was deleted.

Verstappen was just behind his title rival on track and when he crossed the line it was in a time of 1:05.412. He too made another attempt but he failed to find an improvement on his second flying lap.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was also able to bypass Hamilton first flyer time and the Australian ended a productive session with a best time of 1:05.748, three-tenths of a second off his former Red Bull team-mate.

Third place in the session went to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with the Frenchman finishing just under four hundredths of a second behind Ricciardo his former team-mate at Renault and 0.006s ahead of Hamilton.

Fifth place in the session went to Fernando Alonso with Sebastian Vettel sixth for Aston Martin ahead of the second McLaren of Lando Norris and the second Aston of Lance Stroll.

Sergio Perez finished the session in ninth place and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top 10 for Alfa Romeo ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Bottas ended up 12th at the flag but during the session suffered a bizarre spin in the pit lane. The Finn lost control of his car after pulling away from his pit box on cold tyres. He managed to avoid any collisions but had to be pushed back to the Mercedes garage by McLaren mechanics.

Elsewhere, Pierre Gasly was ruled out of FP2 by a technical issue with Honda checking his power unit after seeing worrying data after the first session.

2021 FIA Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 37 1’05.412
2 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 35 1’05.748 0.336
3 Esteban Ocon Alpine 35 1’05.790 0.378
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 35 1’05.796 0.384
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine 39 1’05.827 0.415
6 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 38 1’05.934 0.522
7 Lando Norris McLaren 39 1’05.994 0.582
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 36 1’06.079 0.667
9 Sergio Perez Red Bull 36 1’06.089 0.677
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 37 1’06.145 0.733
11 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 39 1’06.147 0.735
12 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 32 1’06.251 0.839
13 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 39 1’06.270 0.858
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 41 1’06.297 0.885
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 39 1’06.451 1.039
16 George Russell Williams 39 1’06.628 1.216
17 Mick Schumacher Haas 29 1’06.886 1.474
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas 30 1’07.404 1.992
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 32 1’07.669 2.257
20 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 0

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