Ferrari fastest as Hamilton hit dramas in FP2
By Mat Coch
Saturday 4th September, 2021 - 12:19am
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz saw Ferrari top the second Free Practice session at the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton struck trouble.
Leclerc headed the session over his team-mate in a 60-minute outing that drew two red flags.
The first of those was for Hamilton, who stopped his Mercedes on track with dramas in the oil system of his W12.
With limited running in the opening session, and just three laps in FP2, it puts the Englishman on the backfoot heading into Qualifying tomorrow.
After a truncated opening practice session, owing to a lengthy red flag, the field was eager to head out as Free Practice 2 got underway.
Sebastian Vettel was the only exception, his Aston Martin still on stands in the garage as work continued on the rear of the car.
A mixture of hard and medium compound tyres was in use by the field, the Mercedes duo opting for the softer yellow-walled tyres.
That resulted in them shooting to the top, Bottas with a 1:11.664s and Lewis Hamilton a 1:11.911s.
Soon after completing his lap, the Brit reported a loss of power before being told to stop the car on track.
The red flag was duly shown, six minutes into the session, resuming eight minutes later.
With Hamilton sidelined, Bottas was left to complete Mercedes’ programme, switching onto the soft compound tyres after 25 minutes.
A 1:11.353s resulted to remain fastest, until Esteban Ocon set a 1:11.074s.
Remaining on track, Bottas improved to a 1:11.132s lap, moving him closer to the pace-setting Alpine just before half-distance.
Half an hour into the session, a second red flag was called for when Nikita Mazepin spun at the Turn 11 chicane.
The Haas driver found himself beached in the gravel after losing the rear of the car heading into the left-hander.
It came as bad news for Verstappen, the Red Bull driver on a qualifying simulation as the red flag was shown.
Running resumed with 20 minutes remaining, the field again swarming back on track in an effort to make up for lost time.
Charles Leclerc promptly delivered a 1:10.902s to go fastest, shadowed by team-mate Carlos Sainz with a 1:11.056s as focus turned to race runs.
Most left the red-walled softs fitted, suggesting that is the preferred race tyre heading into Sunday.
Inside the final 10 minutes, some switched onto the medium tyres, Leclerc, Ocon, and Bottas among them.
The times though had dropped, with long run pace seeming to favour Verstappen, though just where Bottas stacked up was less clear.
Ocon’s lap, which left him third, seemed to suggest Alpine too could be a factor, supported by Fernando Alonso in sixth place.
At McLaren, Lando Norris was eighth best, just over half a second off the outright pace, while Daniel Ricciardo was 1.2s down in 15th.
A final 60-minutes of practice remains ahead of qualifying on Saturday, track action set to commence at 20:00 AEST.
Results: Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, Free Practice 2
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:11.264||+0.362s||27|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1:11.462||+0.560s||28|
|9||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:11.678||+0.776s||29|
|10||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:11.713||+0.811s||23|
|12||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||1:11.946||+1.044s||26|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1:12.096||+1.194s||30|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:12.136||+1.234s||28|
|16||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:12.206||+1.304s||30|