Hamilton, who will have a 10-place grid demotion for Sunday’s race after moving onto his fourth engine of the season, lowered the benchmark down to a 1m23.804s in FP2 as he outpaced Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 0.166s. 

Leclerc, who is running Ferrari’s upgraded engine, improved on his second lap on soft tyres during the qualifying simulation runs, while Hamilton caught traffic on his quickest lap, suggesting he has more time in his Mercedes. 

Despite that, Hamilton was still able to post a new track record at Istanbul Park for the second successive session. 

The seven-time world champion heads into the weekend holding a two-point advantage over title rival Max Verstappen, though Hamilton faces an uphill battle in Turkey to maintain his championship lead due to his looming penalty.

But Verstappen has endured a difficult start to the weekend, having struggled with a lack of grip and balance in first practice.

The Dutchman’s troubles continued in FP2, with Verstappen reporting he was “getting weird snaps” and that his Red Bull car felt “like a slingshot” at mid-corner. 

Verstappen ended up finishing behind Leclerc, the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in fifth, some 0.635s down on Hamilton. 

Lando Norris put his McLaren sixth ahead of the Alpine pair of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly suffered a high-speed spin on his way to taking ninth. 

Completing the top 10 was the Antonio Giovinazzi, who is fighting to keep his seat at Alfa Romeo for next season. 

Daniel Ricciardo was unhappy with the balance of his McLaren and could only manage to set the 14th-fastest time, ahead of only Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, and the two Williams and Haas drivers. 

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

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