Formula 1

Hamilton leads second practice as Verstappen closes in

2 Mins read
Credit: Daimler AG / Wolfgang Wilhelm

Following a ten minute delay of action as circuit officials fixed a loose drain cover, the pitlane at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve roared with the sound of cars heading out for the second free practice session of the Formula 1 Heineken Grande Prémio De Portugal 2021.

In the opening ten minutes it was the leader of the first practice session Valtteri Bottas that was setting the pace, a time of 1:20.423, leading Carlos Sainz Jr., and Lewis Hamilton. The opening part of the session was largely uneventful other than Nikita Mazepin briefly heading off of the circuit as George Russell made a pass on the Brit.

Twenty minutes in to the session and Max Verstappen had managed to set a time good enough to move to the top of the timing screens with a lap of 1:20.322, pushing Bottas down to second place. It wouldn’t be long before the Finn would reclaim the top spot, improving his time to 1:20.181, only to be blitzed by his team-mate Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:19.837.

At the halfway point of the session the top ten was led by Hamilton, Bottas and Sainz. The Alpine duo of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon were fourth and fifth fastest. Verstappen was in sixth place ahead of Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, and Sergio Pérez, who had a near miss with a Haas coming out of the pit lane.

As the clock counted down and headed in to the closing stages Mick Schumacher was reporting engine problems on his Haas, down in eighteenth place the German driver had slowed noticeably. The issue didn’t seem terminal, after speaking with engineers on the radio it wasn’t long before he was back up to speed.

Heading out on track on a fresh set of soft tyres, Verstappen pushed his pace, with a clear track ahead of him he managed to move up to second place, just 0.143 seconds behind the top time by Hamilton.

In the closing moments of the session, Tsunoda managed to avoid a potentially embarrassing incident as he was caught out by the wind at Turn 3, thankfully for the Japanese driver he managed to pull out of the corner, using the run off area to recover.

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:19.83733
233Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda1:19.980+0.143s26
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:20.181+0.344s28
455Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:20.197+0.360s33
514Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:20.220+0.383s32
631Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:20.235+0.398s31
716Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:20.360+0.523s33
83Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:20.418+0.581s31
918Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:20.427+0.590s31
1011Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda1:20.516+0.679s28
1110Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:20.558+0.721s34
124Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:20.757+0.920s28
1363George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:20.976+1.139s32
1422Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:21.053+1.216s33
155Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:21.074+1.237s32
167Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:21.225+1.388s22
1799Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:21.238+1.401s32
1847Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:21.537+1.700s29
196Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:21.855+2.018s31
209Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:22.638+2.801s28
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