Austrian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

By The Nines

Lewis Hamilton, Austrian GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Austrian GP 2014 

 © Active Pictures

 

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were the only drivers to lap in the one minute and nine second range during Free Practice 2 for the Austrian Grand Prix. They set times of 1:09.542 and 1:09.919 respectively. Fernando Alonso was third quickest after setting a time of 1:10.470 in his Ferrari.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Centigrade.) There was a 30 percent of rain, and it had rained lightly during the lunch break.

Marcus Ericsson (Caterham) and Max Chilton (Marussia) were the first two drivers out as the session began.

Pirelli's dry weather tire choices for FP2 were: soft (yellow sidewall) and super soft (red sidewall).

Adrian Sutil (whose Sauber had suffered turbo problems in FP1) laid down an early fast time with a 1:15.718, but Chilton soon beat that with a 1:14.355. Sutil responded with a 1:13.627.

7 minutes into the session, Romain Grosjean posted a 1:13.131 in his Lotus. Jenson Button crossed the line soon after that to set a 1:11.914 in his McLaren.

Daniil Kvyat was going well in his Toro Rosso and topped the times with a 1:11.749, but then Kimi Raikkonen turned a 1:11.722 in his Ferrari.

10 minutes into the session, Button was back on top with a 1:11.403.

14 minutes into the session, Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) was quickest with a time of 1:11.217 followed by Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) with a 1:11.279.

16 minutes into the session, Alonso became the first driver to get below 1:11 as he turned a 1:10.899. Rosberg clipped that down to a 1:10.835. Then Lewis Hamilton moved his Mercedes into second with a 1:10.841, which was just 0.006 slower than Rosberg.

Hamilton was not happy being second, and he clocked a 1:10.525, which was a 0.310 of a second quicker than his teammate.

21 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas took the second spot with a 1:10.790 in his Williams. Hamilton went even quicker – 1:10.460.

23 minutes into the session, Rosberg retook second with a 1:10.730, and he lowered that to 1:10.499.

30 minutes into the session, the top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Bottas, Alonso, Massa and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull.) Sebastian Vettel was seventh in the other Red Bull. The home team was not doing very well at the Red Bull Ring.

32 minutes into the session, the Marussia drivers tried out the Pirelli super soft slick. Jules Bianchi promptly drove his Marussia off the track at Turn 1.

35 minutes into the session, Kevin Magnussen, with super softs on his McLaren, took fifth place with a time of 1:10.982.

37 minutes into the session, Rosberg, on the super softs, set a 1:10.339, which was just 0.061 quicker than Hamilton's lap on the softs. Hamilton, now on super softs, slammed in a 1:09.652.

39 minutes into the session, Massa moved into third with a 1:10.521 on super softs. Bottas was fourth with a 1:10.790.

40 minutes into the session, Alonso was now third with a 1:10.470.

Midway through FP2 the top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Bottas, Massa and Jenson Button (McLaren.)

With 44 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg had another go on the super softs, and set a 1:09.919. Hamilton had improved to a 1:09.542.

Vettel, meanwhile, had managed to haul his Red Bull up to sixth place with a 1:10.807. Ricciardo was eighth with a 1:10.920.

Turns 1 and 8 were the scenes of numerous "offs" by assorted drivers including Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Jean-Eric Vergne, Ricciardo, Kamui Kobayashi and Sutil

At the one hour mark, the top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Bottas, Massa and Vettel.

The drivers and teams were now doing long runs on the soft and super soft tires. Hamilton's engineers radioed him that his lap times would drop into the high 1:12 range.

McLaren had brought a number of upgrades for its cars, but how much did they help?

"Done it again guys," he said on the radio. "We have the same issue we had two weeks ago"

With 27 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton became the latest driver to slide off at Turn 8.

As the tires deteriorated along with the grip, it caused more drivers to go off at Turn 8. Massa, Esteban Gutierrez, Ricciardo, Perez. Sutil, Raikkonen and Ericsson became the latest visitors.

The wind was becoming a factor too with gusts up to 22 mph.

With 14 minutes remaining in the session, rain was approaching the circuit

With 12 minutes remaining in the session, everybody but Kobayashi was out on track and churning away.

Meanwhile, the stewards put out a statement that they would make a ruling on the limits of what drivers could do going off at Turn 8. Lots of drivers were going off at Turn 1 as well.

Times were getting slower as the tires wore out, so obviously there was no change in order on the timing screens.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Bottas, Massa, Vettel, Button, Ricciardo, Magnussen and Vergne.


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