British GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Still Ahead

Valtteri Bottas, British GP 2017

Valtteri Bottas, British GP 2017 

 © RV Press


By Dan Knutson in Silverstone

Valtteri Bottas was quickest in FP1 with a time of 1:29.106 set on the soft Pirelli slicks. The other compounds were the super soft and medium. Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, also on the softs, was just a tick slower. The Mercedes drivers were comfortably quicker than the rest of the drivers who could not get within half a second despite using the super softs. At the end of FP2, the Merc drivers were still ahead, albeit not quite as comfortably as the Ferraris had found some pace.

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.

Hulkenberg and Grosjean were the first out in FP2.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Centigrade).

Once things got rolling, Vettel clocked a 1:30.320 on the soft tires. Ricciardo trimmed that to a 1:30.148 before Vettel got down to a 1:29.850 and Raikkonen a 1:29.161.

Then Hamilton, on the softs, turned a 1:28.780 and then a 1:28.543.

At the one-third mark, the top six were: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso and Bottas.

But Bottas had only been on the medium tires. Now he switched to the super softs and put in a 1:28.496. Vettel switched from the softs to the supers and got down to a 1:28.956.

Others were on the super softs now, including Hamilton who could not beat Bottas.

Halfway through the session the top six were now Bottas, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo. All but Hamilton had set their times on the super soft tires. And having used up a set of super softs, he had no chance to improve his time.

In the final 30 minutes the drivers were doing long runs rather than fast laps.

There was some drama at Turn 13, Becketts, with Verstappen going off, and Massa and Raikkonen spinning…at different times.

And so the session ended with Bottas and Hamilton still ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel. Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Massa, Alonso and Ocon rounded out the top 10.

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