Valtteri Bottas headed up a Mercedes one-two in second practice for the French Grand Prix on Friday afternoon as a mistake by teammate Lewis Hamilton left him under investigation with the stewards.

After narrowly trailing Hamilton in FP1 at Paul Ricard on Friday, Bottas took his turn at the front of the field despite only making a marginal improvement when switching from Medium to Soft tyres.

A gain of less than two-tenths of a second saw Bottas set a time of 1m30.937s, but was nevertheless enough for him finish 0.424s clear of Hamilton in second place as the Briton failed to get in a Soft tyre run.

Hamilton lost the rear of his Mercedes W10 car coming through Turn 3, causing him to slide across the track and take out the bollard on the corner.

As Hamilton returned to the circuit, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took evasive action to avoid contact at Turn 4. Hamilton appeared to be raising his hand to apologise, but the stewards nevertheless confirmed they would be investigating the incident after the session.

Hamilton was forced to pit after spinning as Mercedes discovered a misfire on his car, costing him some track time before heading out in the final 15 minutes of the session.

Ferrari struggled to put up a fight to Mercedes at the head of the field as Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finished over six-tenths of a second off the pace in P3 and P4 respectively.

Lando Norris enjoyed a strong outing for McLaren in FP2 as he finished a surprise P5, less than one second back from Bottas, with teammate Carlos Sainz taking seventh despite being a further half a second in arrears.

Verstappen split the two McLarens in sixth place for Red Bull, but did not complete a fast lap on the Soft tyre after running wide at Turn 11 on his qualifying simulation lap, forcing him to abandon the effort.

Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly finished four-tenths off in eighth ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who completed the top 10 in P9 and P10 respectively. 

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