Hamilton was only seventh-fastest in first practice but posted the quickest time of the weekend so far with a 1m04.523s to head Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.189s during the qualifying simulation runs.

Hamilton survived a trip through the gravel following a lock-up at Turn 4 as the seven-time world champion was caught out as rain fell in the closing stages of FP2.

Current championship leader Max Verstappen, who had topped the morning session for Red Bull, was third and 0.217s down on his title rival’s benchmark.

Aston Martin enjoyed a strong afternoon as Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel took fourth and fifth, ahead of the AlphaTauri duo of Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly.

After China’s Guanyu Zhou made his practice debut in FP1, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso was back in action for Alpine on his way to setting the eighth-fastest time.

Lando Norris took ninth in his McLaren despite a spin at Turn 2, while Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top-10 order as he returned to the cockpit of his C41 after Ferrari test driver Callum Ilott had participated in FP1.

Sergio Perez was only 11th in the FP2 order and ended up nearly a second off the pace in the second Red Bull.

The drivers once again had the opportunity to test out Pirelli’s beefed-up prototype tyre construction that will be introduced at the British Grand Prix, providing the Italian manufacturer is satisfied with the analysis collected on Friday in Austria.

Full results from second practice at the 2021 F1 Austrian Grand Prix.