Austrian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Better yet

Lewis Hamilton, Austrian GP 2017

Lewis Hamilton, Austrian GP 2017 

 © RV Press


By Dan Knutson in Spielberg

Lewis Hamilton's lap of 1:05.975 in FP1 was the fastest ever at the A1-Ring. He used Pirelli's soft compound tires to set that time. Also on hand were the super soft and the ultra soft tires. And when he tried the super softs in FP2 he was better yet with a lap of 1:05.483.

The lineup for the weekend was: Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Red Bull TAG Heuer – Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Force India Mercedes – Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes – Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll; McLaren Honda – Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault – Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer; Toro Rosso Renault – Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz; Haas Ferrari – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari – Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Centigrade). There was an 80 percent chance of rain.

Bottas used the super softs to turn a 1:05.869 early in FP2. The new fastest ever lap. Until Hamilton, on the supers, did a 1:05.731. And Bottas a 1:05.700.

Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Magnussen rounded out the top six in the early going. Verstappen's car was still in the garage with its brakes being worked on.

Twenty-three minutes into the session Bottas tried the ultra soft slicks for the first time and cracked off a 1:05.699 – just .001 faster than his time on the super softs. Then Vettel used the ultras for a 1:05.630.

Bottas tried to go faster only to spin at Turn 6. Hamilton did go faster with a lap of 1:05.483.

Verstappen finally got out with just over an hour to go, and used the ultras to jump from last to sixth and then to fourth.

The top six were now Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo with 33 minutes to go. Magnussen, Vandoorne, Kvyat and Alonso rounded out the top 10. Alonso was now in the pits having a new floor fitted to his McLaren.

There was a bit of reshuffling in the order, so at halftime it was now: Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Ocon and Vandoorne. Then Grosjean got up to ninth.

And now it was into the long runs on heavy fuel loads and worn tires. But the delayed Alonso still had a new set of the ultras, and he used them to move into eighth. Verstappen used another set of super softs to improve his time but he remained fifth behind teammate Ricciardo. But then he did improve to fourth.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 were: Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Alonso, Hulkenberg and Grosjean.

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