FP2: Bottas heads Hamilton and Verstappen in second Friday practice at Hungaroring
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas ended second Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as the fastest driver, heading his team mate Lewis Hamilton by a narrow 0.027s – with a disgruntled Max Verstappen third for Red Bull, nearly three-tenths off the ultimate pace.
Bottas has never taken pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, in comparison to the seven poles of team mate Hamilton here. But the Finn spent the whole of Friday as the quicker of the two Mercedes drivers, clocking a fastest time in FP2 of 1m 17.012s, with Bottas fastest in the first two sectors – as Hamilton claimed the fastest time in Sector 3.
Hamilton was a mere 0.027s further back, the seven-time champion having overcome a brief off at Turn 9 and a violent snap of oversteer at the exit of Turn 11, before finishing ahead of title rival Verstappen. The Dutch driver had finished fastest in FP1, but appeared unhappy on team radio in FP2, complaining that his car was “so understeery, it’s incredible”, as he wound up 0.298s off Bottas.
Esteban Ocon said on Thursday that a change of chassis had restored his confidence in his Alpine A521. And Ocon proved that emphatically with P4 in the session, 0.747s off the ultimate pace, and ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, who complained of vibrations on his soft tyre set.
FORMULA 1 ROLEX MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2021
Practice 2 results
|1 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||1:17.012|
|2 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.027s|
|3 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.298s|
|4 Esteban Ocon OCO Alpine||+0.747s|
|5 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.812s|
Pierre Gasly claimed sixth for AlphaTauri, but it was an unfortunate session for team mate Yuki Tsunoda, who after his Turn 4 hit into the barrier in FP1 spent the majority of FP2 in the garage, emerging in the final minutes before ending up P17.
After celebrating his 40th birthday yesterday, Fernando Alonso ended up seventh, ahead of the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel, whose early move to softs paid dividends, as he finished P8. Lando Norris was ninth as the leading McLaren, ahead of the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, completing a double top 10 showing for the team in green.
Ferrari had been predicted to be strong at a Hungaroring track often described as being like Monaco without the walls – and with Charles Leclerc having taken pole in Monte Carlo earlier this year. But after Carlos Sainz’s P4 in FP1, neither he nor Leclerc could crack the top 10 on Friday afternoon, Leclerc going P11 and Sainz P12.
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo was adrift of McLaren team mate Norris for a second session in a row, as he took P13, some four-tenths off Norris, while Kimi Raikkonen claimed 14th in his first outing of the day in the Alfa Romeo C41, having given up his car to Robert Kubica this morning.
George Russell took 15th for Williams, shadowed by team mate Nicholas Latifi some two-tenths off. After Tsunoda, Haas’ Mick Schumacher was 18th, ahead of the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi in 19th as Nikita Mazepin took 20th in the second Haas.
So, with Red Bull having gone fastest on Friday morning, Mercedes turned the tables on Friday afternoon. But with thunderstorms threatening to arrive on Saturday, there’s plenty of uncertainty still to come this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix.