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  • Writer's pictureRhonan Colquhoun

F1: Mercedes dominance in Austria continues as Hamilton tops FP2

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

Business continued as usual for Mercedes in FP2 as Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas continue to dominate proceedings at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

3rd July 2020

Hamilton finished the dry session nearly two tenths quicker than Bottas with the Brit going half a second faster than he did in FP1. The two Mercedes out-front were over six tenths clear of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez who ended the session a brilliant 3rd.

The only minor inconvenience for Mercedes happened with ten minutes to go in the session when an issue caused Bottas from changing gear which led to the Finn missing out of the last bit of action.

The impressive speed of the Racing Point raised eyebrows. Nicknamed the "Pink Mercedes", Racing Point confirmed the strong pace that it had put down in Pre-Season Testing to be true. The team seems to be at the top of the mid-field by quite some way but how close they are to the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull remains a mystery.

After a downbeat FP1, Sebastian Vettel managed to put his Ferrari in 4th - marginally ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo. Lando Norris finished the session 6th as the lead McLaren ahead of the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll.

Max Verstappen, who finished FP1 in 3rd, found himself down in 8th for Red Bull. The Dutchman was over nine tenths behind Hamilton's Mercedes although damaging his front wing on his flying lap means that his FP2 time is not at all accurate. After pushing hard, he went off at Turn 6, taking a trip through the gravel trap after losing the rear of the car entering the corner. His team-mate, Alexander Albon, spun at Turn 1, just as Verstappen had done in FP1 and ended the session 13th.

Rounding out the top 10 was the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr. Sainz also suffered front wing damage over the kerbs on the exit of Turn 6.

The top nine drivers were covered by just one second as the top 19 were covered by two seconds with the Williams of F2 graduate Nicholas Latifi over 2.8 seconds off of Hamilton's time. He was just over one second behind team-mate George Russell but Latifi did say that he wanted to take today's sessions easy to adjust to these F1 cars.

Friday Driver of the Day

My Friday Driver of the Day is between two drivers: Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez. Hamilton topped both session today and never put a foot wrong. Hamilton's one of the drivers who doesn't use the simulator so for him to be at the top of the standings and ahead of his team-mate. Perez was 5th in FP1 and then he was 3rd in FP2. He's done a great job this weekend so far and has proven that Racing Point has very good pace. If I had to chose between the two, I think, Perez did a fantastic job today and he would be for me my Driver of the Day.

FP2 Standings

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:04:304

  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:04:501

  3. Sergio Perez, Racing Point,1:04.945

  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:04.961

  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, 1:04.972

  6. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, 1:05.087

  7. Lance Stroll, Racing Point, 1:05.135

  8. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Honda, 1:05.215

  9. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1:05.298

  10. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, 1:05.352

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