Blue skies and orange grandstands welcomed the drivers for second practice at Zandvoort, in which Charles Leclerc took P1 ahead of Ferrari team mate Carlos Sainz and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. Red proved to be the colour on Friday afternoon when Lewis Hamilton suffered an engine issue early on – bringing out the red flags – Mercedes’ championship leader finishing 11th fastest in this session.
After a lengthy halt on Friday morning for Sebastian Vettel’s engine issue, FP1 leader Hamilton encountered an oil system problem five minutes into FP2 to bring out an eight-minute pause in proceedings. That was followed by a red flag on the 30-minute mark when Nikita Mazepin beached his Haas in the Turn 12 gravel trap. The start of FP2 was also delayed by five minutes, but the full hour was allocated.
Cue friendly waves and raucous cheers from the home crowd as Hamilton was driven back to the paddock in the Medical Car, while rivals continued to lap on mediums. Softs were bolted on just before the half-way mark for a flurry of qualifying runs, which saw Leclerc eventually set the benchmark of 1m10.902s with Sainz second, 0.154s off his Ferrari team mate.
Alpine’s Hungary winner Ocon briefly led the standings and finished third overall ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (P4). In P5 was home hero Max Verstappen, 0.362s off the pace without a clean flying lap, while Ocon’s Alpine team mate Fernando took P6.
FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN DUTCH GRAND PRIX 2021
Practice 2 results
|1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||1:10.902|
|2 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||+0.154s|
|3 Esteban OCON Alpine||+0.172s|
|4 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes||+0.230s|
|5 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||+0.362s|
As for AlphaTauri, Pierre Gasly enjoyed competitive pace in this session to take P7 and his team mate Yuki Tsunoda, who spun early in FP1 and missed even more of the session as a result, kept it clean in FP2 for P13.
Ferrari’s midfield rivals McLaren couldn’t keep the pace in FP2, with Lando Norris taking eighth and Daniel Ricciardo back in 15th.
That left Antonio Giovinazzi ninth for Alfa Romeo – who might play a significant role in the driver market – ahead of Sebastian Vettel in P10, who was hinted to be staying with Aston Martin for 2022 by team boss Otmar Szafnauer in the lunch break.
After stopping on track, Hamilton was left 11th in this session with just three laps under his belt for Mercedes, with Sergio Perez P12 for Red Bull and a second off the leading pace.