Styrian Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has topped the times in second practice in Austria, in a session marred by a big crash for Daniel Ricciardo.
Max Verstappen has gone quickest in the second practice session at the Red Bull Ring. The Dutch driver clocked a 1:03.660 on the Soft tyre during the qualifying simulations to beat Valtteri Bottas by just 0.043 seconds.
The session was a mish-mash of drivers appearing and disappearing from the timing screens due to times being deleted for exceeding track limits, an issue that appeared far more prevalent than last weekend’s race at the same venue.
Sergio Perez finished P3 for Racing Point, in a session where the pink RP20 appeared to have the legs to match the expected front running cars with Red Bull and Mercedes. The Mexican driver enjoyed a 0.3 second gap over his teammate Lance Stroll, who used his Soft tyre allocation up as Racing Point appeared to treat the session as if it was qualifying.
With rain threatening Saturday running at the circuit, there is the possibility that the finishing order in FP2 will be used as the starting grid for the race. The teams are concerned enough about this to have ensured they tried to treat the session as qualifying, with some doing so more than others.
Daniel Ricciardo brought out the red flags early in the session, as he lost the rear of his Renault on a flying lap. He went off hard into the barriers and had to be checked at the Medical Centre. He has been cleared as fit and well, although TV footage showed him limping slightly.
Carlos Sainz finished P5 for McLaren, while Lewis Hamilton was a subdued P6. The Mercedes driver did use the Soft tyres, but his best time was still 0.7 seconds away from the lead time set by Verstappen, and almost the same away from Bottas.
Alex Albon was P7 for Red Bull Racing, having spun twice during the session. He spun at Turn 3 midway through the session after carrying too much speed into the apex, while he lost the rear out of Turn 6 close to the flag.
Lando Norris finished P8 for McLaren, with Charles Leclerc P9 for Ferrari. Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten in the sole Renault.
Pierre Gasly finished P11 for Alpha Tauri, while Daniil Kvyat was just behind him in the second AT01. Kimi Raikkonen showed some slight signs of pace improvements for Alfa as he finished in P13 and just ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi. George Russell was P15, while Sebastian Vettel was P16 in the second Ferrari. His best time was set on the Medium tyre early in the session, due to his Soft tyre flying laps being deleted for running out of track limits in the final sector.
Nicholas Latifi was P17, ahead of the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.