FP2: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Ricciardo as Vettel suffers engine failure
Lewis Hamilton continued Mercedes dominance at Silverstone this weekend, setting the fastest lap of the second free practice session for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, ahead of his team mate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton, who had finished the morning FP1 session second to Bottas, was 0.176s quicker than the Finn, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo an impressive third fastest, 0.815s off Hamilton’s leading pace.
Further down the field it was another difficult practice session for Sebastian Vettel – who missed almost the whole of FP1 at the British Grand Prix last week with technical issues – as his Ferrari suffered an engine failure late on.
Vettel's stoppage was the notable incident from the session as he pulled over at Turn 9, his SF1000 spewing oil on the track surface, which triggered a Virtual Safety Car. Before his issue, he had only managed the 14th quickest lap, while his team mate Charles Leclerc finished seventh overall, 1.2s off Hamilton.
The defending champion and winner of last week's British GP set his fastest lap of 1m25.606s on the medium tyres to leapfrog Bottas just after the 60-minute mark, and Ricciardo managed P3 with 40 minutes remaining when he bolted on the fastest soft tyres.
The Australian’s lap came after he said on Thursday he was targeting one-lap pace to improve Renault’s qualifying performance, and give them the best chance possible to repeat his P4 finish at Silverstone last weekend.
EMIRATES FORMULA 1 70TH ANNIVERSARY GRAND PRIX 2020
Great Britain 2020
Practice 2 results
|1 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||1:25.606|
|2 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||+0.176s|
|3 Daniel Ricciardo RIC Renault||+0.815s|
|4 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.831s|
|5 Lance Stroll STR Racing Point||+0.895s|
The big talking point of the day was the result of Renault's protest of the Racing Point brake ducts, with the stewards announcing they had upheld the protest on Friday morning.
But while the team management was reacting to that news, the drivers had to get on with the job on track, and Sergio Perez’s stand-in Nico Hulkenberg finished the afternoon session P6, just over two-tenths behind fifth-place team mate Lance Stroll. The midfield battle continued to be super close, with just half-a-second splitting sixth-place Hulkenberg and 15th-place Romain Grosjean.
Ahead of the Racing Points was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while team mate Alex Albon finished 11th behind Renault’s Esteban Ocon. Renault were the only team to run the hard tyre for long periods on Friday afternoon as others focused on long runs using medium and soft tyres – which are one step softer than the tyres used in last week’s British GP.
Charles Leclerc managed 32 laps to go seventh-fastest behind Hulkenberg, with both McLaren drivers – led by Lando Norris, a tenth faster than Carlos Sainz – in P8 and P9.
AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat finished ahead of team mate Pierre Gasly as they occupied 12th and 13th, ahead of Vettel. Kvyat managed a session-high 33 laps and was narrowly slower than Red Bull's Albon.
George Russell was again quicker than his Williams team mate Nicholas Latifi and both Alfa Romeos, ending the day 16th quickest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Haas' Kevin Magnussen.
In last was Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo, whose C39 car stopped on the run off at the Maggotts-Becketts complex in the last few minutes of the session with what appeared to be an engine issue, which brought out the red flags to end the day's running.
Next up for the drivers is FP3, which begins at 11am local time on Saturday, before the qualifying hour at 2pm.