Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in the second practice session for this weekends German Grand Prix. The Dutchman continued where his teammate Daniel Ricciardo left off, by going two-hundredths of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton.
The Austrian team’s pace has been a surprise in practice, as this was expected to be a circuit which favored Mercedes. However as been the story this season, there was very little between the top three teams who were covered by three-tenths of a second.
It was, however, a session where Verstappen had issues which cost him track time. He said on the team radio there were problems with his engine – he said: “there is a lot of noise on the downshift” – and returned to the pits.
After the session, Verstappen confirmed after the session he had only suffered an oil leak, the last thing Red Bull need are mechanical issues after such an encouraging first day of practice.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was a tenth off in third. While Ferrari continued the normal low key Friday, with Sebastian Vettel fourth two tenths off the pace. Ferrari has tended not to show its real performance on Friday but should be in the mix on Saturday.
Haas emerged as the leaders of the midfield, with Romain Grosjean ahead of Kevin Magnussen, with Saubers Charles Leclerc eighth.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo could only manage thirteen, however his session was focused on race setup, and marked with two incidents. The first as he attempted to pass Sergey Sirotkin, saw the Williams driver close the door, then he ran wide at turn six.
Ricciardo also suffered a brief spin, which brought out the yellow flags. There were other near misses, Haas’s Magnussen was slow in the Turn Six hairpin, appearing to slightly delay Fernando Alonso, who was on a quicker lap.
Renaults Nico Hulkenberg was ninth ahead of both the Force India’s of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, with Carlos Sainz twelveth. There appears to be little between the two teams, who were split by less than a tenth.
Marcus Ericsson was ahead of both Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.
It was another disappointing session for both McLaren and Williams, Fernando Alonso seventeenth with Stoffel Vandoorne slowest. The two McLaren drivers struggling because of the wind tunnel correlation issues with the car.