Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes’ stranglehold on the top of the timesheet in F1’s triple header as he led another one-two for the time in second practice at the Austrian GP. Hamilton’s soft-tyre time of 1:04.579 was nearly two tenths quicker than Bottas’s best on the ultrasoft, a compound two steps faster.
Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel was 0.236s back on his championship rival and, like Bottas, set his best lap on the ultrasofts. Daniel Ricciardo was the lead Red Bull in fourth and used the middle tyre, the supersoft. Sebastian Vettel’s race-run simulation on ultrasofts was up to 25 laps, which means that we could see another divergence in strategy on Sunday, given the fact that Scuderia Ferrari, unlike Red Bull and Mercedes, were happy to also run the ultrasofts last week in France. Mercedes look to have the advantage over a single lap but Ferrari look very strong on race simulations, as the Maranello team, who have failed to show their hand on a Friday all season, showed far greater promise on the high-fuel runs with Vettel delivering the best lap-time average on the ultrasofts and Kimi Raikkonen on the supersofts.
Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen and sixth-fastest Kimi Raikkonen were among the drivers to have brief off-course moments, along with Fernando Alonso whose McLaren required a floor change after an early error.
Austrian GP Practice Two Timesheet
1) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.579
2) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.176
3) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +0.236
4) Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +0.452
5) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.546
6) Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +0.686
7) Romain Grosjean Haas +0.850
8) Kevin Magnussen Haas +0.980
9) Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso +1.179
10) Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren +1.351
11) Carlos Sainz Renault +1.420
12) Charles Leclerc Sauber +1.517
13) Esteban Ocon Force India +1.554
14) Marcus Ericsson Sauber +1.620
15) Nico Hulkenberg Renault +1.694
16) Sergey Sirotkin Williams +1.747
17) Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso +1.753
18) Sergio Perez Force India +1.775
19) Fernando Alonso McLaren +1.850
20) Lance Stroll Williams +2.047