Lewis Hamilton remained the fastest in the second practice



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Lewis Hamilton remained the fastest in the second practice

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the second free practice for Saudi Arabia, where he was six hundredths faster than his teammate Valtteri Bottas, and Pierre Gasly was the third fastest for AlphaTauri. Drivers started the second training mostly on medium (12 drivers) and hard (7 drivers) tires and only Norris at McLaren started training on soft tires.

Norris set the fastest time of 1: 30.771 on soft ahead of two drivers Alpine Ocon and Alonso on medium who was about half a second slower. Verstappen on the medium ruined Norris ’best time in 0.667 seconds and drove 1: 30.104, Leclerc was 0.076 seconds slower and Ocon 0.116 seconds slower in third place.

Verstappen in the new lap on medium tires drives another four-tenths faster with the two fastest times in the first two sectors, and Leclerc is also improving his best time with the best third sector and coming in second for Ferrari with 0.112 behind.

Ocon drives the third-best time for Alpine despite a mistake in the last turn, and Tsunoda drives the new best time for AlphaTauri which stood just seconds before being taken off the top by Verstappen (1: 29.290). Bottas a minute later set a new fastest time with the fastest second and third sectors 1: 29.079, and Hamilton was 0.179 seconds faster in the first sector, 0.05 seconds slower in the second, and 0.07 seconds slower in the third sector for a new best time, 0.061 seconds faster than Bottas.

Verstappen's mistake

Verstappen made a mistake in his first fast lap on soft tires by missing the trajectory through the first two turns, and Hamilton had traffic problems in his first fast lap on soft so he didn’t fix his best lap either.

Verstappen did not improve his best lap in the second attempt on soft tires, as he was almost half a second slower than the fastest Hamilton in the middle. Gasly drove the third-fastest time for AlphaTauri 22 minutes before the end, just 0.081 seconds behind Hamilton, and Verstappen managed to improve his time on the soft with 0.195 seconds behind Hamilton in fourth place.

Five minutes before the end of the training, Leclerc severely smashed his Ferrari SF21 after losing the rear end at the entrance to the corner in a fast 22nd turn and crashing his rear end into barriers near the track. The Ferrari driver was angry after the mistake that led to a major collision from which he, fortunately, managed to get out without any consequences, but the same could not be said for his badly damaged car.

With less than five minutes to go until the end of the training, race control soon confirmed that the second free practice would not continue. Hamilton remained the fastest ahead of Bottas with Mercedes drivers setting the best times on medium tires, and Gasly was third ahead of Verstappen who was less than two-tenths behind the fastest Hamilton.

Alonso and Ocon took fifth and sixth place for Alpine, and Sainz was seventh for Ferrari, three hundredths slower than Ocon.