F1 Tuscan Grand Prix – Free Practice two: Valtteri Bottas locks out as Fridays fastest driver

Credit: GPDestinations

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, was the first car to venture out onto the Mugello Circuit when Free Practice two got underway this afternoon. Although the Dane put in the first timed lap, Lando Norris, McLaren, soon topped the timing boards with a 1:18.658.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, added some spice into FP2 when he spun out at the penultimate corner in the third sector and onto the gravel. Luckily, he was able to get the car back on the track and continued his way around without red flagging the session.

As we approached the half an hour mark, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, led the timing boards with a 1:18.019 lap which was 0.284s faster than Max Verstappen, Red Bull, and 0.633s faster than his teammate, Lewis Hamilton. However, Leclerc – who finished third in FP1 – was sat in 18th as his best lap was 2.397s slower than Bottas.

All the while, Norris complained his car’s ride height was too low as he bottomed out on the straights. This inidcated the drivers were still experimenting with the perfect set-up for tomorrows qualifying session, when the Parc Ferme regulations are put in place for the following race day.

Unfortunately, the session was later red flagged as we peaked towards the halfway point. This was after the left-hand side of the orange McLaren of Norris touched the gravel, this threw his cars stability as the gravel trap sent him towards the barrier and lost his front wing in the process. Luckily, the young Briton was able to get out of the car after the driver decided he couldn’t get the MCL-35 back to the pits.

The Mercedes duo topped the timing boards after both drivers were sent out on qualifying simulations. In the process, Bottas was able to edge out his six-time world champion by 0.207s after the Finn put in a 1:16.989.

Soon after Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, spun out in the final sector of the track, as we entered the last half an hour. His former teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, collided with Sergio Perez, Racing Point, as the Mexican left the pit lane. The collision, where the Finn’s rear right made contact with the Pink Mercedes’ front wing, occurred on the apex of the first turn. This sent Raikkonen into the gravel before the second, and final, red flag came out to allow the marshalls to clear the debris.

Two minutes remained on the second free practice session but no drivers improved their positions in the timing boards. This indicated that the medium compound tyre will be the best compound for the top 10 to qualify with.

Fastest drivers:

  1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

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