Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas ended second Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as the fastest driver, heading his team mate Lewis Hamilton by a narrow 0.027s – with a disgruntled Max Verstappen third for Red Bull, nearly three-tenths off the ultimate pace.
Bottas has never taken pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, in comparison to the seven poles of team mate Hamilton here. But the Finn spent the whole of Friday as the quicker of the two Mercedes drivers, clocking a fastest time in FP2 of 1m 17.012s, with Bottas fastest in the first two sectors – as Hamilton claimed the fastest time in Sector 3.
Hamilton was a mere 0.027s further back, the seven-time champion having overcome a brief off at Turn 9 and a violent snap of oversteer at the exit of Turn 11, before finishing ahead of title rival Verstappen. The Dutch driver had finished fastest in FP1, but appeared unhappy on team radio in FP2, complaining that his car was “so understeery, it’s incredible”, as he wound up 0.298s off Bottas.
Esteban Ocon said on Thursday that a change of chassis had restored his confidence in his Alpine A521. And Ocon proved that emphatically with P4 in the session, 0.747s off the ultimate pace, and ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, who complained of vibrations on his soft tyre set.
FORMULA 1 ROLEX MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2021
Practice 2 results
|1 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes||1:17.012|
|2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes||+0.027s|
|3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||+0.298s|
|4 Esteban OCON Alpine||+0.747s|
|5 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing||+0.812s|
Pierre Gasly claimed sixth for AlphaTauri, but it was an unfortunate session for team mate Yuki Tsunoda, who after his Turn 4 hit into the barrier in FP1 spent the majority of FP2 in the garage, emerging in the final minutes before ending up P17.
After celebrating his 40th birthday yesterday, Fernando Alonso ended up seventh, ahead of the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel, whose early move to softs paid dividends, as he finished P8. Lando Norris was ninth as the leading McLaren, ahead of the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, completing a double top 10 showing for the team in green.
Ferrari had been predicted to be strong at a Hungaroring track often described as being like Monaco without the walls – and with Charles Leclerc having taken pole in Monte Carlo earlier this year. But after Carlos Sainz’s P4 in FP1, neither he nor Leclerc could crack the top 10 on Friday afternoon, Leclerc going P11 and Sainz P12.