British GP 2018
JULY 6, 2018
Practice 2 Report - The Fast Wall
By Dan Knutson in Silverstone
Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest lap time in the Free Practice 2 for the British Grand Prix during which Max Verstappen hit the wall just 15 minutes into the session.
The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Ferrari - Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen; Force India Mercedes - Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes -Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin; Renault - Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz; Toro Rosso Honda - Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly; Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; McLaren Renault - Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton was fastest in FP1 when he turned a 1:27.487 on Pirelli's soft compound tires. Pirelli also had its medium and hard compound slicks available.
Nobody rushed out of the garages when the green lights came on to signal the start of FP2.
The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 124 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Centigrade).
Grosjean would not take part in FP2 after crashing in FP1. The Haas mechanics were building up a new chassis for him.
Raikkonen set the bar with a time of 1:29.664 on the medium tires. Then Vettel, on the same compound, beat that with his 1:28.856.
The Mercedes had yet to appear 15 minutes into the session. And at that time Verstappen spun and tagged the barriers at Turn 7. The VSC was deployed. And then the red flag so that the marshals could clean up the debris. Just before the crash Raikkonen had posted a 1:28.591.
"He was running on the harder tire," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky TV. "It looked a bit like a high-side on a motorbike, the car snapped to the left and then fired him off. (It's) annoying and frustrating, but thankfully we've still got Daniel out there, so the program is going to rely on his running for the rest of the session."
Things restarted after an eight-minute pause, and this time the Mercedes boys got straight out there.
Just past the half-hour mark the order was: Raikkonen, Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Ocon, Alonso, Perez and Vandoorne.
Then the drivers in the top teams started doing some qualifying simulations on the soft tires. Raikkonen got down to a 1:28.525. Hamilton was 0.151 of a second slower on the medium compound.
Vettel used the softs to post a time of 1:27.552.
Next, Bottas did a soft run. He was 0.357 of a second slower than Vettel, and for the time being in second place. Hamilton's time of 1:28.137 was only good enough for fourth. Ricciardo's lap netted him fifth place.
And so the top five were: Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Ricciardo. Next, a full second slower than Ricciardo, came Hulkenberg followed by Ocon, Alonso, Perez and Leclerc.
But then Hamilton had another go on the softs. He didn't beat Vettel but moved into second with a time of 1:27.739.
Gasly's FP2 ended with 32 minutes to go when he parked at Turn 3 after the team told him to stop the car immediately because of a problem with the power unit. And at about the same time Alonso moved up to sixth.
As usual, most of the teams used the latter third of the session for long runs. And, as usual, the track got very busy.
The top 10 at the end of the fast wall session were: Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Perez and Leclerc.