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German GP 2018

JULY 20, 2018

Practice 2 Report - The nearly man

Max Verstappen
© RV Press

By Dan Knutson in Hockenheim

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was nearly fastest in Free Practice 1 for the German Grand Prix, but Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo squeaked ahead to post the best lap time. Hamilton was nearly fastest in Free Practice 2 for the German Grand Prix, but now it was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen who, by 0.026 of a second, edged ahead to post the best lap time.

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Red Bull TAG Heuer - 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.

Ricciardo had been quickest in FP1 with a time of 1:13.525. Hamilton was just 0.004 of a second slower. Both used Pirelli's ultra soft compound tires. The soft and super soft compounds were also on offer.

Sainz was the first driver to go out early in the session.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute FP2 session was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Centigrade).

Vettel, on mediums, and Raikkonen, on softs, set the early pace with times of 1:13.817 and 1:13.915 respectively.

Verstappen, Magnussen and Perez rounded out the top five 18 minutes into the session.

A couple minutes later Verstappen toured around in 1:13.356 on the soft Pirellis. His teammate Ricciardo had yet to emerge.

Bottas and Hamilton moved into second and third, a third of a second slower than Verstappen.

Right at the 30-minute mark Vettel climbed on top as he used the ultras to set a 1:13.310. Moments later Ricciardo had a quick spin at Turn 8.

The order was Vettel, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Bottas, Hamilton and Magnussen with 52 minutes remaining.

But now more drivers were using the ultras for their qualifying simulations, and Bottas clocked a 1:13.190 only to be beaten by Hamilton's 1:13.111.

Just before the midpoint of FP2 Verstappen gained the lead after setting a 1:13.085, an unofficial lap record.

At halfway the order was: Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Magnussen, Leclerc, Hulkenberg and Ocon. Ricciardo was 13th.

In the final part of FP2 all the drivers were on track bar Verstappen who pitted with a strange engine noise when he down-shifted. But he got back out with three minutes remaining.

With their qualifying sims complete, the drivers had embarked on race sims in the final third of the session. Thus the top 10 remained unchanged with Hamilton nearly the fastest in the session.