Styrian GP: Verstappen tops FP2 as former teammate Ricciardo in second

Red Bull Racing ended the first day of their home Grand Prix in good spirits after Max Verstappen topped FP2 with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in second.

The opening stages of the afternoon session were threatened with spots of rain, as drivers struggled with grip at Turn 3.

The rain began to ease up after 20 minutes and the lap-times started to fall.

Max Verstappen, who was the fastest overall in the morning session, continued to maintain Red Bull’s momentum with a time of 1m05.412s.

The Dutchman was followed by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is looking to add further confidence behind the wheel of the MCL35M after a positive result at the French Grand Prix last weekend.

Ricciardo has been out-performed by his team-mate so far, but the Australian had the upper hand this afternoon, with Lando Norris down in seventh.

McLaren’s session was made better when their championship rivals Ferrari failed to have either driver in the top-10; the Woking-based team are looking to extend their 16-point lead over Ferrari in the constructor’s standings.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon finished third fastest and the team overall enjoyed a good afternoon with Fernando Alonso in fifth.

The two Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished fourth and 11th. The reigning (seven-time) world champion struggled to cope with track limits at Turn 10 throughout the session thus losing a time that would have been fastest.

Bottas had a moment to forget in the closing stages after trying to lay down some rubber at his pit box; the Finn spun and went sideways in the pit lane and the McLaren team personnel pushed him in the right direction.

Bottas ended the session in 12th and a trip to the steward’s room straight afterwards.

Aston Martin were looking strong throughout the session. In the end, Sebastian Vettel finished sixth and Lance Stroll in eighth.

Sergio Perez (9th) and Antonio Giovinazzi (10th) rounded off the top-10 at the Red Bull Ring.