Charles Leclerc led the way at the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands in the second free practice session (FP2).
Carlos Sainz was 0.154 seconds behind in second position. Esteban Ocon was in third position at the end of the session.
The stands were filled with the orange-clad Dutch fans cheering their local hero Max Verstappen.
The sixty-minute long free practice session started again under clear skies in hotter conditions with the air temperature at 20 degrees C and the track temperature at 35 degrees C.
The start of the session was delayed by five minutes. After the interrupted first practice session, the drivers queued up at the end of the pit lane at the start of the session to get maximum track time.
Most of the drivers were on the medium compound tyres except a handful of drivers on the hard compound tyres.
Valtteri Bottas topped the time charts in the first set of runs ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton. But Hamilton ground to a halt on the track with a power unit issue.
After an eight-minute stoppage the session restarted. With Hamilton out of action, Bottas went out early on the soft compound tyres for his qualification simulation.
Bottas went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m11.353s. But Ocon with the track evolution went faster with a lap time of 1m11.074s.
Bottas improved on his time and was just 0.058 seconds behind Ocon. Verstappen on his flying lap was interrupted by Nikita Mazepin’s spin that brought out the red flags again.
The session was restarted quickly and Verstappen took third position with a lap time of 1m11.264s.
With under twenty minutes to go, the Ferrari drivers took over the top two positions. Leclerc with a lap time of 1m10.902s topped the session. Team-mate Sainz was in second position 0.154 seconds behind Leclerc.
Soon the drivers started race simulation on the soft compound tyres with Verstappen setting the pace.
The Ferrari drivers ended the session in the top two positions. Ocon finished in third position with team-mate Fernando Alonso in sixth position.
Bottas and Verstappen finished in fourth and fifth positions. Sergio Pérez was well off the pace and finished in twelfth position. Hamilton’s session ended after three laps and he finished in eleventh position.
Pierre Gasly finished in seventh position with team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in thirteenth position. Lando Norris finished in eighth position even as Daniel Ricciardo languished in fifteenth position.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished in the top ten again as he was in ninth position. Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen finished in sixteenth position.
Sebastian Vettel after the power unit issues in the first session had a delayed start to the session and finished in tenth position. Lance Stroll finished in fourteenth position.
Mick Schumacher finished in seventeenth position with team-mate Mazepin in nineteenth position. Nicholas Latifi finished in eighteenth position. The podium finisher from the previous race George Russell finished in last position.
The teams and drivers will pour over the data collected in the two sessions on Friday to finalize setup changes for Saturday. On this new track, a few surprises are on the cards.
2021 Dutch Grand Prix Second Practice Session Results:
|1||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||01:10.902||29|
|2||55||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||01:11.056||+0.154s||28|
|3||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||01:11.074||+0.172s||33|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||01:11.132||+0.230s||33|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||01:11.264||+0.362s||28|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||01:11.280||+0.378s||30|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||01:11.462||+0.560s||29|
|8||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||01:11.488||+0.586s||27|
|9||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||01:11.678||+0.776s||30|
|10||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||01:11.713||+0.811s||24|
|11||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||01:11.911||+1.009s||3|
|12||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||01:11.946||+1.044s||27|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||01:12.096||+1.194s||31|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||01:12.136||+1.234s||29|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||01:12.157||+1.255s||25|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||01:12.206||+1.304s||31|
|17||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||01:12.607||+1.705s||31|
|18||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||01:12.610||+1.708s||27|
|19||9||Nikita Mazepin||RAF||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||01:12.835||+1.933s||12|
|20||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||01:12.855||+1.953s||30|