Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in second practice for the Turkish Grand Prix, the Dutchman was four-tenths faster than the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Verstappen again showed that Red Bull have the pace as Mercedes appeared to focus on long-run place.
Verstappen’s time was still three tenths slower than pole in 2011 and the lap record set in 2005, however, it was seven-tenths faster than his time during the opening session.
But he maintained his advantage as drivers continued to get used to running on mediums, Leclerc showed Ferrari have the pace. It appeared on paper that Ferrari could have struggled but it proved to be the opposite, but Sebastian Vettel continues to find it difficult to match his teammate
Verstappen said were “worse than Portimao, by far,” but for Mercedes, who have been so far unable to unleash their downforce in Istanbul.
Valtteri Bottas was third fastest going almost eight-hundredths faster than his teammate Lewis Hamilton. The Finn set the first time a 38.4 before lowering it to a 34.9, when Verstappen set the pace. Mercedes showed more pace in the second session.
His teammate Alex Albon was fifth fastest, being pushed down when drivers switched to the soft tyres.
Leclerc did manage to improve, but it appeared that the new track surface meant that drivers had to do serval laps before setting there fastest times. The Monacan moving up to second, as did teammate Sebastian Vettel, although the four-times champion ended the session eighth fastest.
Albon had gone fastest on the softs, then dropped a second behind when the session finish and had one of his times deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn One. The British-Thai driver had at one point gone fastest during the early part of the session.
Istanbul Park is hosting its first Grand Prix since 2011, two weeks ago the track was resurfaced and that means it proved slippery and drivers struggled for grip. The lack of grip in an era where cars are generally a lot faster than 2011, saw the times three second off Sebastian Vettel’s pole position.
Alpha Tauri continued to show they have pace they were best of the rest, with Daniil Kvyat going sixth fastest two and a half tenths faster than his teammate Pierre Gasly. The Italian team has been strong in the second half of the season.
Vettel’s struggles with Ferrari continued, he was a second off the outright pace right pace and almost eight hundredths behind the Frenchman. Lance Stroll was ninth fastest with his Racing Point teammate Sergio Perez eleventh, the duo separated by the McLaren of Lando Norris.
Ahead of the weekend, it was suggested that Racing Point, had stopped developing the car. But their battle remains with Renault with Perez going three and a half tenths faster than his former teammate Esteban Ocon. The other focus this weekend is the battle for third in the constructors.
Antonio Giovinazzi was thirteenth fastest going just four-thousandths of a second faster than the McLaren of Carlos Sainz. The team proving slightly more competitive than in recent races, while Daniel Ricciardo was fifteenth fastest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
George Russel was seventeenth showing once again consistently against his teammate Nicolas Latifi. However, the Williams driver struggled with a lack of grip throughout the afternoon, especially through Turn Eight ‘Diabolica.’
Russell, however, is likely to start from the back of the grid, after taking an extra engine. Russell and Nicholas Latifi went around at practically the same time. Although at Turn One and Turn Seven, the long, right-hand, uphill hairpin respectively, will Raikkonen spun off at the downhill exit of Turn 4 and Daniil Kvyat looped around at the final corner.