Lewis Hamilton was fastest once again heading his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the second practice for this weekends Austrian Grand Prix. Hamilton was a tenth faster than his Finnish teammate, despite him setting his time on the slower and hardest compound of tyre.
Mercedes have dominated at the Red Bull Ring since the circuit returned to the Red Bull Ring. The team has not topped a session on a Friday this season, but Hamilton managed to outpace Bottas on the slower tyre.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, the German finding a tenth of a second when he switched to Ultrasofts and finished the afternoon two tenths off the pace. Daniel Ricciardo was the lead Red Bull in fourth and used the middle tyre, the supersoft.
However, Ricciardo’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen seemed to struggle on his qualifying simulations with his front tyres on his way to fifth. The Dutchman did show better pace on his long runs, but the gap between the two remained close, with the gap being around two tenths off Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest of the drivers from the top three, a futher tenth behind Verstappen. The Finn struggled to find time on the Ultrasofts and also ran wide, finishing over half a second behind Hamilton.
Haas was best of the rest with Romain Grosjean seventh and Kevin Magnussen eighth. This season the American team has performed well at low downforce and high-speed circuits. It wasn’t a perfect session for the Dane, he made a mistake at Remus causing him to run wide meaning he was a tenth slower than his teammate.
Magnussen later ran wide in Turn 9, losing some small bodywork parts as a result of the rough ride, with his eventful session concluding with being told to stop the car immediately after being released from the pits with a loose front-right wheel.
He was lucky to avoid the inner kerb, unlike Pierre Gasly who beached his Toro Rosso in the gravel breaking the suspension. The Frenchman ran wide over the kerbs at Rindt becoming beached in the gravel. His car was recovered and he returned to the track later in the session.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was tenth fastest, he was over a second off the pace and ahead of Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard also surviving his own mistake at Rauch, to finish eleventh fastest.
He was around a tenth faster than Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, with Force India’s Esteban Ocon thirteenth. Marcus Ericsson was another driver who ran through the gravel at Schlossgold, after a small lock-up, but ended up fourteenth ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.
It was a difficult session for Fernando Alonso, he damaged his floor on his first run meaning he was only nineteenth fastest ahead of Lance Stroll’s Williams.