Hamilton and Bottas fastest in second practice in Austria



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Hamilton and Bottas fastest in second practice in Austria

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas set the two fastest times in the second free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix where they were faster than Max Verstappen in Red Bull. Verstappen set the fastest time in the introductory part of the second practice session on test Pirelli tires ahead of Bottas on the same tires while Tsunoda held third place ahead of teammate Gasly with both using medium tires.

After missing the first practice session to give junior drivers a chance, Alonso in Alpine, Giovinazzi in Alfa Romeo, and Russell in Williams returned in the second practice. 15 minutes after the start of training, Bottas took the top spot for Mercedes on medium tires with a 0.107-second advantage over Verstappen, who soon replaced the test tires with a medium component.

Hamilton on medium tires drives two hundredths slower than Bottas while Verstappen takes first place in the second attempt on medium tires with a 0.363-second advantage over Bottas. Alfa Romeo drivers were also very fast on medium tires and took third (Raikkonen) and fifth (Giovinazzi) place, 20 minutes after the start of training, and Perez then took second place behind his teammate, 0.277 seconds behind Verstappen with the best third sector.

Two minutes before half of the training Bottas took first place on soft tires with a big half-second advantage over Verstappen in the medium while Stroll in Aston Martin took second place, also on soft. Hamilton took the lead on soft tires with a 0.189 second lead over Bottas while Verstappen took third place, 0.217 seconds behind leading Bottas, with too wide a pass of the ninth turn.

Twenty minutes before the end the rain started to fall a little harder which is why the drivers were no longer fixing their times but switched to driving with more fuel in preparation for the race. Hamilton remained the fastest with a time of 1: 04.523, 0.189 seconds ahead of Bottas while Verstappen was another three-hundredths slower than Bottas in third place for Red Bull.

Other drivers

Stroll and Vettel showed good speed on soft tires and took fourth and fifth place for Aston Martin, while AlphaTauri drivers were fifth and sixth with Tsunoda being 0.022 s faster than Gasly. Alonso was eighth for Alpine after Raikkonen bothered him in his fast lap on soft tires, and Norris was again a faster McLaren driver in ninth place.

Giovinazzi rounded out the top ten for Alfa Romeo, four places ahead of teammate Raikkonen, while Perez was only 11th for Red Bull after a poor lap on soft tires. Ocon was again slower than Alonso although the Spaniard missed the first practice to give the opportunity to leading Formula 2 driver Zhou and finished 12th fastest ahead of Sainz who was the faster Ferrari driver.

Raikkonen was 14th fastest for Alfa Romeo, a tenth behind Giovinazzi, and Ricciardo was only 15th for McLaren ahead of Leclerc in another Ferrari who set his best time on the soft late. Russell returned after missing the first practice with 17th place for Williams ahead of Schumacher in The Hague, Mazepin in the second Williams and Mazepin in the second The Hague. The third free practice runs on Saturday at 12:00 and the qualifiers start at 15:00.