Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two after going a tenth and a half ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz second practice for the Dutch Grand Prix. The Monacan was the first to break into the 1:10’s with twenty minutes to go, Sainz shortly followed him, with the time six tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton’s time in FP1.
Zandvoort was expected to suit Ferrari, as it is a low-speed high downforce circuit. While the session was slightly interrupted by yellow and red flags, it is still expected that Red Bull and Mercedes remain the team to beat.
Esteban Ocon was third fastest going almost eight hundredths off the pace. The Alpine driver putting himself up in the top three following a solid run on the soft tyres and that put him ahead of Valtteri Bottas by five-hundredths of a second.
The Red Bull of Max Verstappen by a hundredth and a half. The Mercedes driver had gone fastest early on, but one of the stories throughout Friday has been track evolution and that was the case in FP2, times improving by about five seconds.
However, Verstappen’s true competitiveness over one lap was hidden because there were two red flags during the session, one for Hamilton and another when Haas driver Nikita Mazepin spun off at the chicane. Red Bull look strong however during race simulations.
Hamilton reported a power loss, ostensibly due to an oil feed irregularity, and was instructed to stop his Mercedes at Masterbocht, which was met with a cheer from the grandstands. His car was pushed into an escape road and the session resumed after an eight-minute delay, meaning he finished eleventh fastest.
Hamilton told reporters “It has been a beautiful day in terms of weather and it’s amazing to see the crowd. There are so many people here and it’s good to see people hyped. All the energy that the Dutch fans bring.”
“This morning I only got about 20 minutes of running with that red flag so it naturally puts us on the back foot but Valtteri looked like he had a good session, so hopefully tomorrow we can try and make up for some of the time.”
The stop-start nature of the day made it hard to understand the performance and battles that could unfold this weekend. It could also make qualifying interesting if there are yellow and red flags.
Fernando Alonso put his Alpine sixth fastest, the two-time champion three tenths off the pace, going just over two tenths ahead of Pierre Gasly. Earlier in the session, they had run third and fourth respectively.
Lando Norris put his McLaren eighth fastest, the Englishman going just under two tenths ahead of the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi, while Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top ten. McLaren might be struggling in their battle with Ferrari in the constructors, with the Englishman over half a second off the pace of Leclerc.
Hamilton finished the session eleventh fastest, going a tenth and a half ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez. Although come qualifying there should be a lot closer to the front, but one thing which may be a problem is traffic, though there were no issues reported by the drivers.
Yuki Tsunoda was fourteenth fastest going just over two tenths faster than the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll. Daniel Ricciardo put his McLaren fifteenth fastest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
Mick Schumacher led the Haas – Williams battle, he was three-hundredths of a second faster than Nicholas Latifi with Nikita Mazepin and George Russell rounding out the field.