Perez was the quickest driver during the short runs on soft tyres as he lapped the Circuit of the Americas with a 1m34.946s to top the FP2 leaderboard, 0.257s clear of McLaren’s Lando Norris

After dominating opening practice, the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas slipped back to third and fourth on Friday afternoon. 

Seven-time world champion Hamilton had briefly jumped to the top of the timesheets with the fastest time seen so far this weekend on a 1m34.842s, only to see his lap time deleted for falling foul of track limits at Turn 19. 

That dropped Hamilton down to fifth but he was able to improve with a second-timed effort to go third, 0.364s off the pace. Teammate Bottas had a scruffy second lap on softs as he stayed fourth, less than a tenth behind Hamilton. 

The flashpoint of FP2 was provided by Hamilton and Verstappen as they engaged in an on-track battle early on in the session. 

After being overtaken by Verstappen at Turn 15, Hamilton returned the favour at the final corner with both drivers about to start a timed lap, before the pair continued to race wheel-to-wheel along the main straight and all the way up to Turn 1.

Having held the inside line, Hamilton emerged on top of the duel coming out of the first corner, much to Verstappen’s annoyance. 

The Dutchman said over team radio: “Ha! Stupid idiot,” before proceeding to stick his middle finger up at Hamilton. 

It proved to be a frustrating session for Verstappen, who was left to bemoan traffic after seeing both of his soft tyre efforts ruined, before giving up on his short run altogether. 

“I’m boxing, f*** this,” he added. “Let’s just do a long run now, I’m over this short run.”

Verstappen ultimately ended the day eight-tenths adrift of his teammate’s benchmark in P8, behind Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc

Completing the top 10 order in FP2 were Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo. 

After causing a red flag with an on-track stoppage in FP1, Fernando Alonso had more drama when he spun rearwards into the barriers at Turn 19 in the closing stages of second practice. 

Alonso was able to recover his damaged Alpine from the gravel and recover back into the pits. 

Full results from second practice for the 2021 F1 United States Grand Prix. 

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