Having set the pace in the morning, Bottas also led the way early on in FP2 on the Medium tyres, before Hamilton took over at the top when the field switched onto Softs to carry out their qualifying simulation runs.

The seven-time world champion produced a 1m18.170s to end Friday practice 0.139s clear of Bottas, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc setting an impressive lap to sit within 0.165s of Hamilton’s benchmark.

Unusually, Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez did not feature near the top of the times, with neither driver setting a representative lap.

Verstappen wound up ninth after aborting his Soft tyre run when an error at Turn 10 sent him drifting out wide, while Perez also failed to set a competitive time on his way to a low-key 10th.

It was a very encouraging FP2 for Alpine as the French squad looks to follow up on its strong Portuguese GP showing in Barcelona, as Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso took fourth and fifth.

AlphaTauri duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz also finished ahead of the Red Bull pair who completed the top-10.

Aston Martin, McLaren and Alfa Romeo all missed out on a spot in the top-10 as the top 14 cars ended the session separated by less than a second.

After sitting out FP1, Kimi Raikkonen and George Russell returned to their respective cars for FP2 and finished 16th and 17th, with the latter outpacing Williams teammate Nicholas Latifi by just 0.089s.

Haas’ rookie pairing completed the FP2 order as Mick Schumacher managed a time four-tenths faster than teammate Nikita Mazepin.




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