F1 Austrian Grand Prix 2020 - Free Practice RESULTS (2)

Mercedes continued its dominance of the Friday timesheets in second free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas opening up a commanding advantage over its F1 rivals.

Having shaken off the cobwebs in FP1 as the sport returned to action after a three-month hiatus, Mercedes simply picked up from where it left off by again to go comfortably quickest of all around the Austrian venue.

By contrast it was a troubled afternoon for Mercedes’ chief rivals Red Bull and Ferrari, with the former enduring multiple off track moments, while the latter’s pace simply appeared lacklustre.


Is Max Verstappen The Man To Beat? | F1 Austria GP Preview | Crash.net


Indeed, despite many wondering whether the long break would have stuttered its progress, Mercedes instead looked even stronger with the new all-black Mercedes W11 topping the timesheets with a 1m 04.304secs lap in Hamilton’s hands.

Placing him two tenths clear of Bottas, it might have been closer but for the Finn appearing looser on his quickest lap. Even so, both found themselves with significant air back to third position to the tune of seven and five tenths respectively, a sizeable margin given the Red Bull Ring’s compact length.

Nonetheless, FP2 did throw up some interesting results with the challenge being led by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, whose quickest lap was enough to hold off fourth place man Sebastian Vettel in the best of the Ferrari drivers.

A positive day for the perceived midfield runners, Daniel Ricciardo was an encouraging fifth quickest for Renault, ahead of top McLaren driver Lando Norris in sixth and Lance Stroll consolidating Racing Point’s impressive Friday in seventh.

Red Bull, meanwhile, will have a long night ahead as it looks for a solution to a fundamental rear-end stability issue on the exit of corners after Max Verstappen ran on at turn six and Alex Albon – down in 13th - spun at turn one.

An identical turnaround to that of his team-mate in FP1, Daniil Kvyat in the sister AlphaTauri also committed a similar mistake early on in FP2.

Charles Leclerc ended a somewhat anonymous day in ninth for Ferrari, with Carlos Sainz in tenth after losing time when he damaged his car on the kerbs.

A somewhat error-strewn session for many as they found the grip levels on the ‘green’ track, Nicholas Latifi, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were others to experience off-track moments.