Verstappen heads Ricciardo in Styrian F1 practice

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have led the way in Free Practice 2 at the Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was more than a third of a second clear of the field, backing up the pace he showed in the morning’s 60-minute session.

In Free Practice 2, qualifying simulations saw Ricciardo emerge second fastest from Esteban Ocon with Lewis Hamilton third, just 0.05s splitting second to fourth.

The threat of rain saw most head out on track, though not Pierre Gasly who was on the pit wall, his car sans engine in the AlphaTauri garage.

A sensor issue with the Honda power unit had been detected following opening practice, ruling him out of the entirety of the second session.

Having had a spin in this morning’s session, Carlos Sainz had another pirouette at the exit of Turn 4, just as Sergio Perez had done earlier in the day.

Verstappen set the early pace at 1:06.192s as conditions appeared to slowly deteriorate, drops of rain being reported by drivers on track.

That saw teams begin qualifying simulations earlier than usual; Bottas forgoing the opening minutes of the session before emerging on track after 15 minutes with a set of softs.

It resulted in a 1:06.251s, 0.059s slower than Verstappen’s earlier best which had been set on the medium compound rubber.

Sebastian Vettel recorded a 1:05.934s to go fastest, his Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll recording a 1:06.079s, which briefly saw him quickest moments earlier.

Hamilton and then Ocon both went faster, the latter setting a 1:05.790s on his qualifying sim.

Nikita Mazepin had a spin at Turn 5, the Haas driver finding the gravel but able to continue.

Verstappen re-established himself at the top of the timesheets with a 1:05.412s, though dropping into second was Ricciardo with a time 0.336s slower than his former team-mate.

The threatening weather held off, allowing teams to switch focus to race runs in the second half of the session.

That resulted in the earlier times setting the order that would stand for the balance of the 60-minute hit out.

Exiting his pit stall, Valtteri Bottas had a spin in pit lane, his Mercedes left pointing mechanics in the McLaren garage.

It was a moment that caught the eye of officials who confirmed they would investigate after the session.

The session concluded without further significant incident, ended the opening day’s running at the Red Bull Ring.

Hamilton’s pace was not entirely indicative, the Brit having a 1:05.335s deleted due to track limits.

That would put him far closer to the pace of Verstappen, and in a clear second to his championship rival as opposed to fourth as he ended the day.

One hour of practice remains ahead of qualifying, with forecasts predicting rain in the area around the circuit.

Results: Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Team Time Diff Laps
1 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:05.412 37
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:05.748 +0.336s 35
3 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:05.790 +0.378s 35
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:05.796 +0.384s 35
5 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:05.827 +0.415s 39
6 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:05.934 +0.522s 38
7 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:05.994 +0.582s 39
8 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:06.079 +0.667s 36
9 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:06.089 +0.677s 36
10 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:06.145 +0.733s 37
11 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:06.147 +0.735s 39
12 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:06.251 +0.839s 32
13 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:06.270 +0.858s 39
14 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:06.297 +0.885s 41
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 1:06.451 +1.039s 39
16 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:06.628 +1.216s 39
17 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:06.886 +1.474s 29
18 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 1:07.404 +1.992s 30
19 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:07.669 +2.257s 32

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