Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas were again fastest in FP2 but the session was dominated by tyre talk and the Racing Point ruling.
As teams did qualifying programmes and long runs in this session, the soft tyre looks unusable as on race trim as it wears very quickly, and it seems slower than the medium tyre on one-lap pace as well.
The medium tyres also look difficult to conserve with Kevin Magnussen and Charles Leclerc reporting them overheating and wearing – the mediums are the equivalent of the soft tyres at last week’s British GP as Pirelli brought softer compounds for this weekend.
Meanwhile, Racing Point are said to be considering an appeal at the FIA decision that their brake ducts are illegal while Renault could appeal that the punishment of a €400,000 fine and 15 point deduction doesn’t go far enough.
Christian Horner and Mattia Binotto were discussing the case at the start of the session, while on track, Renault finished better with Daniel Ricciardo a strong third and ‘best of the rest’ after the Mercedes, with Racing Point running fifth and sixth led by Lance Stroll.
At one point Nico Hulkenberg was complaining that his seat was loose and although he initially stayed out the German eventually came in saying he was unable to continue, and the problem was sorted.
After coming fourth in FP1 this morning he looks to be back up to speed after being back in the sport for a week.
Splitting his trio was Max Verstappen, in fourth and just 0.016s away from Ricciardo, and eight tenths off Bottas.
However, they looked to have comparatively better race pace which, given their kinder tyre treatment, could put them in contention at the top of the grid on Sunday.
Mercedes repeated their FP1 performance as Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets ahead of Lewis Hamilton, but at one point James Allison and Toto Wolff were out trackside looking on as the Mercedes went onto the Wellington straight.
For their fastest laps, Bottas was on the medium tyre for his qualifying sim run whilst Hamilton was on the softs.
There were two mechanical failures late on in the session – Sebastian Vettel had an engine failure with fluid pouring out of the back of the car and stopped at the end of the old pitlane to produce a VSC.
Then just down the track at Becketts, Antonio Giovinazzi pulled up to bring out red flags and end the session two minutes early.
It had been the first time the Italian had run this weekend after Robert Kubica took part in FP1, but he was slowest in the session even before his issue.
Charles Leclerc was seventh behind Hulkenberg followed by the two McLarens led by Lando Norris on his home track. Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 ahead of Alex Albon, who was five-tenths off Verstappen and still looks to be struggling after a difficult first weekend at Silverstone.