Bottas
Credit: Mercedes / LAT Images

Valtteri Bottas topped free practice two, two tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton, in an eventful session that included two red flags.

Halfway through the session Lando Norris hit the wall at turn three and then with twenty minutes to go, Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez collided at turn one.

Several cars ran wide at a circuit where all the runoff areas are either grass or gravel, meaning the punishments are much tougher than they are for track limits infringements at Monza.

But Bottas remained untroubled and was the only driver to go sub-77 seconds, while Max Verstappen completed a top three that’s been familiar for much of the season.

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Norris had the first crash of the weekend as he ran wide on the exit of turn three and his left-sided tyres touched the gravel.

He looked to have got away with it as he straightened up, but the rear end of the McLaren snapped round and sent him spinning off the left in a cloud of dust.

He hit the wall head-on and lost his front wing, and was unable to continue in the session, having only run nine laps.

He initially set the pace in the session in the first few minutes but struggled with bottoming out, as sparks flew from the underside of his McLaren and he returned to his garage to change that, and ended the session down in fourteenth.

Then with twenty minutes to go Raikkonen hit Perez as the Mexican left the pits.

Perez was on the inside at turn one having got up to speed, but he didn’t back out with Raikkonen approaching on a flying lap.

The Finn turned in and Perez locked up taking evasive action, which wasn’t enough to prevent Raikkonen running over the front wing on the Racing Point and then spinning into the gravel trap while Perez also ran wide but kept on the tarmac.

 

At the top Bottas still looks in imperious form but Verstappen was less than half a tenth behind Hamilton who still hasn’t got fully up to speed at the track.

Alex Albon was fourth but three-quarters of a second behind his teammate, while Daniel Ricciardo completed the top five running a second back from Bottas.

Esteban Ocon was right behind his teammate ahead of Perez, who had a much better session for Racing Point than free practice one where he languished in nineteenth.

Reigning race winner Pierre Gasly was eighth, using hard tyres to set his fastest time in a session where there was a fairly even split between the three compounds.

Raikkonen and Charles Leclerc completed the top ten which will come as more positive news for Ferrari in their 100th Grand Prix, and Sebastian Vettel was less than a tenth behind his teammate, the German finishing twelfth.

Pos. Driver: Team: Times: Laps:
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:16.989 28
2 Lewis Hamilton (H) Mercedes +0.207 29
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda +0.246 25
4 Alex Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda +0.982 28
5 Daniel Ricciardo (S) Renault +1.050 32
6 Esteban Ocon Renault +1.126 29
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point-BWT Mercedes +1.209 34
8 Pierre Gasly (H) AlphaTauri-Honda +1.255 30
9 Kimi Raikkonen (H) Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari +1.396 38
10 Charles Leclerc (S) Ferrari +1.411 27
11 Lance Stroll Racing Point-BWT Mercedes +1.473 37
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1.509 39
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. (S) McLaren-Renault +1.662 32
14 Lando Norris (S) McLaren-Renault +1.669 9
15 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda +1.747 33
16 George Russell (H) Williams-Mercedes +1.854 33
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari +1.955 35
18 Nicholas Latifi (S) Williams-Mercedes +1.994 31
19 Kevin Magnussen (H) Haas-Ferrari +2.124 32
20 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +2.268 5
All times set on medium tyres unless stated

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