Formula 1

Bottas tops second free practice under the lights at the Qatar Grand Prix

2 Mins read
Credit: DaimlerAG Archive/ LAT Images

Valtteri Bottas finished on top of the time charts at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix in the second free practice session. Pierre Gasly finished in second position for the second session in a row.

Max Verstappen was in third position just ahead of title-rival Lewis Hamilton at the end of the second practice session.

The sixty-minute long second free practice session started under the lights at the Losail International Circuit with air temperatures at 26 degrees C and track temperatures at 30 degrees C.

The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C3), the hardest compounds in the Pirelli tyre range.

The two Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers went out on the medium compound tyres, as did most of the drivers who followed.

Nikita Mazepin did not take part in the session as his chassis was damaged in the first free practice session and had to be replaced. The kerbs at this circuit can cause a lot of damage to the cars and have to be negotiated with care.

Yuki Tsunoda went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m25.220s, but he was quickly displaced by Fernando Alonso.

Bottas and Hamilton went 1-2 before being displaced by Verstappen at the top. Bottas again took the top position with a new fastest lap time of 1m23.324s.

Lance Stroll was the first of the drivers to start the soft compound tyre runs. Bottas went quickest with a lap time of 1m23.148s, 0.209 seconds quicker than Pierre Gasly.

Hamilton and Verstappen went only third and fourth on the time charts with their first runs. Verstappen improved on his second run, but only to third position.

Both the Red Bull Racing drivers had their rear-wings checked for cracks in the garage.

With fifteen minutes to go, the drivers started their race simulations on heavy fuel loads.

The session ended with the Mercedes drivers having a much better session under the lights. Bottas has excelled on low-grip and dusty tracks and the Finn showed his prowess again as he topped the session.

Gasly is on course to having another good weekend, as the Frenchman finished in second position again. Verstappen finished in third position ahead of Hamilton.

Lando Norris finished in fifth position ahead of Stroll. Stroll had a good session after a truncated first practice session.

Tsunoda finished in seventh position as the Scuderia AlphaTauri team had a good Friday.

Sergio Pérez, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz rounded off the top ten positions at the end of the session.

The teams will pour over the data and try to arrive at the right setups for the Saturday practice session at this new circuit.

2021 Qatar Grand Prix FP2 Results:

177Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:23.14827
210Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:23.357+0.209s27
333Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:23.498+0.350s20
444Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:23.570+0.422s25
54Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:23.632+0.484s24
618Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:23.705+0.557s26
722Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:23.735+0.587s28
811Sergio PerezMEXRed Bull Racing1:23.787+0.639s20
95Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:24.020+0.872s27
1055Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1:24.033+0.885s28
1131Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:24.041+0.893s29
1214Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:24.056+0.908s25
1316Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:24.095+0.947s23
143Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:24.135+0.987s24
157Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:24.631+1.483s26
1663George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:24.954+1.806s27
1799Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:25.072+1.924s23
186Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:25.209+2.061s28
1947Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:25.575+2.427s27
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