Styrian GP FP2 Report: Verstappen Tops, Bottas’ F1 Misery Goes from Bad to Worse

Published 06/25/2021, 10:01 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


Max Verstappen yet again topped the timesheet in FP2, closing out on an incredibly positive Friday in Austria. However, his rival team, Mercedes F1, failed to make a mark, with Lewis Hamilton securing P4 behind Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas ending up in a rather unsatisfactory P12.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Pierre Gasly, after shining in FP1, failed to exit the garage after AlphaTauri detected a power unit issue on the Frenchman’s car.

Valtteri Bottas endured yet another tough session, as he could manage only P12. And that was only the tip of the iceberg for the Finn. Bottas ended up having a bizarre moment in the pit lane; he suffered a spin near the McLaren garage, only for a team of papaya crew to get him back on the track.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

How the second F1 practice session started

A rather overcast sky welcomed the F1 drivers to the second practice session. With the rain threat increasing every minute, teams opted to push the cars off the track the moment the lights went green.

Most of them joined the track on hard tires, with a few opting to stick with medium tire runs.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

However, just five minutes into the session, Carlos Sainz reported drops of rain falling on his visor. However, since it wasn’t heavy enough, drivers continued to post their lap times.

Fernando Alonso held on to P1 for a while before Verstappen retook the lead. Moments later, Hamilton managed to beat his rival by 0.285s to lead the pack. Sainz soon stole the limelight, as he ended up spinning around turn 4 after kissing the gravel.

Qualifying sim run

15 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas was already onto what looked like a qualifying sim, as he pushed his Mercedes on soft tires. However, in the end, his lap wasn’t good enough to beat Verstappen, as Bottas slotted himself into P2 despite the massive tire advantage.

He was followed by the Aston Martin duo, who briefly held onto P1 and P2 before Hamilton claimed the lead by lapping 0.138s faster. Esteban Ocon then overshadowed the Briton’s lap time, posting the fastest lap of 1:05:790.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

His Alpine teammate, Alonso, continued to showcase blistering pace, as he held on to P3, sandwiching Hamilton. FP1 leader, Verstappen, chased after yet another top finish, and accomplished it, as he secured P1 with Daniel Ricciardo slotting himself right behind in P2.

Top 10 F1 classification of FP2

Verstappen set the timesheets on fire by posting a 1:05:412, consequently grasping onto P1. Ricciardo secured a rather distant P2, over 0.3s behind the Dutchman, followed by Ocon and Hamilton.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Alonso completed the top five, with Vettel and Stroll sandwiching Norris. Perez was on a different setup compared to his teammate, as he held onto P9, with Giovinazzi closing out the top 10.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Overall, rains played hide-and-seek throughout the session, forcing the teams to rush with the qualifying and race sim runs. Despite portraying a gloomy sky, rains failed to make the session interesting, bringing an end to a rather straightforward FP2.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

But, will the rain gods play spoilsport on Saturday and Sunday, gifting the viewers with an incredibly eventful race weekend?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Rohit Kumar

948 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT