Austrian Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets for FP2 at the Red Bull Ring, in a bizarre session where several of the top drivers crashed.
Charles Leclerc clocked a 1:05.086 on the Soft tyre to go fastest in the second practice session. While the outright pace wasn’t as hot as the morning session, Leclerc’s time was an improvement on his own fastest time from FP1. It wasn’t a significant increase of pace, however, as Leclerc only found a tenth by swapping to the Soft tyre from the Medium time he set in the morning.
His fastest time went unchallenged, partly due to a strange session where several of his rivals flew off the track. Valtteri Bottas may have finished P2 on the timesheets, but ended his session at the halfway mark when he crashed going through Turn 6. Losing the back end, the Finn overcorrected the oversteer and flew off into the barriers and heavily damaged the front of his car, including knocking the front wheels loose. He had put in a 1:05.417, enough to keep him in P2 by the chequered flag.
Pierre Gasly finished P3 for Red Bull Racing, four tenths away from Leclerc’s time. He used the Soft tyres for that time, and led the Red Bull charge as Max Verstappen was another driver to crash. The Dutch driver lost the rear of his car going through the final corner and flew off backwards into the barriers. With significant rear damage, he was unable to continue and finished ninth in the times.
Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz also went off at high speed, with the Ferrari driver almost replicating Verstappen’s mistake. He just managed to stay out of the barriers and continued. However, his qualifying simulation was ruined as a result, and he finished P8. Sainz went off at the same corner Bottas crashed, but also managed to continue. He finished P5, right behind Lewis Hamilton – the Mercedes man spending quite a bit of the session on the Hard tyre.
Romain Grosjean finished P6 for Haas, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in P7 for Alfa Romeo Racing. Lando Norris rounded out the top ten behind Vettel and Verstappen.
Renault’s practice session didn’t go particularly well, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing down in P16, two tenths clear of teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Lance Stroll was P18 for Racing Point, just ahead of Williams’ George Russell and Robert Kubica.