Austrian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas remained the fastest runners at the Red Bull Ring, underlining the anticipated pace of the Mercedes team this weekend.
Hamilton’s pace-setting time of 1:04.579 was less than two tenths faster than his Mercedes team-mate, whilst Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the only other driver to set a time in the 1:04s.
However, with Hamilton failing to improve on his qualifying simulation, his best lap time was set on the soft-compound tyre, the most durable of the this weekend’s tyre selection.
With only minor improvements for the front-runners in the qualifying simulations, the performance gap between the tyre compounds appears to be smaller than anticipated.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo set his best time on the supersoft tyre, ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen (ultrasoft), who was running with a damaged floor throughout FP2, and Kimi Raikkonen (ultrasoft).
The two Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were seventh and eighth, despite it being a problematic day for the number 20 car.
Magnussen suffered floor damage in FP1, and in FP2 he was released from his pit box with a loose wheel, had power-related issues, and had a couple of off-track excursions.
Pierre Gasly ended the day in ninth place, but was responsible for the only red flag of the day.
Prior to setting a qualifying simulation time, the Frenchman ran over the kerbs on the exit of turn nine and damaged a component in the suspension geometry, which meant he was unable to guide the car back to the pits. He pulled over at turn ten and the red flags were deployed in order to clear the car.
Following his problematic FP1 session, Stoffel Vandoorne completed the top ten for McLaren.
To view the full results of the session, click here.