Valtteri Bottas dominated an FP2 twice at the 2020 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix, while Pierre Gasly’s flamboyant AlphaTauri and a crash between Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll interrupted the proceedings.
Bottas finished ahead of Verstappen and Lando Norris, with Lewis Hamilton sixth after having his first race on soft tires disrupted by traffic.
The first 30 minutes of the session were spent using Pirelli’s rubber prototype the manufacturer is working on in 2021, with all riders starting early to try the unmarked tires.
Hamilton and Romain Grosjean, who had tripped in the gravel coming off the descent to the right of Turn 11 during those laps, scattering rocks on the track before the climb to the left of Turn 12, were among the drivers complaining about handling. sample tires.
The Mercedes driver signaled a “big vibration” which meant he entered after only 12 laps on the experimental rubber, the least of all drivers, while Grosjean signaled “the balance is getting out of control”.
Verstappen finished as the fastest rider on 2021 tires, with a 1m21.575s, which he set just before the end of the first 30 minutes.
After a brief lull as the peloton came to swap their 2021 tires for the standard rubber used for the rest of the weekend – the Pirelli C1, C2 and C3 compounds – Gasly took first place before losing that time for overtaking the runway limits at Turn 4.
Vettel and George Russell then traded their spots at the top of the medium-tire qualifying times before Gasly was the fastest again – this time with a held lap, a 1m19.197s which was later usurped by the 1m19.175s from Vettel.
Nicholas Latifi became the first driver of the event to ride the soft rubber after 40 minutes, just before the Verstappen returned to the top on a 1m19.033s on the mids, with the Williams quickly joined by the two Mercedes drivers on the red wall tires.
After Vettel and Daniil Kvyat had brief spins at Turns 14 and 13 respectively, attention turned to how the black arrows would lower the FP2 benchmark.
But Hamilton quickly discovered that it would take him two laps to warm up the C3 rubber enough, and as he was on a second lap before starting his flyer, Leclerc took first place in the midrange with a 1m18.838s.
When Hamilton finally started a flying effort, he immediately set the fastest time in the first sector, but had to fall back after passing a slow AlphaTauri to the right of turn 8.
Bottas was following Hamilton but managed to complete his lap without interruption and brought the P1 benchmark back to 1m17.940s.
But that remained the fastest time of the sessions because, shortly after Bottas crossed the line, the first red flag was called after Gasly’s AlphaTauri caught fire as he rounded the hairpin. turn 13 at the start of the third sector.
The car had just lost control as Gasly coasted through the corner, but was quickly engulfed in flames resulting in a 15-minute hiatus when the fire was extinguished and the car removed.
When the session restarted just under 30 minutes from time, the Mercedes drivers returned to the track on the softs, with Hamilton able to beat his personal best with a 1m19.30s, which placed him sixth in the period and 1.368s adrift of Bottas.
FP2 was then stopped again a few minutes later when Verstappen, who had also found he needed to do two warm-up laps to get the softs fully up to temperature, and Stroll clashed to the right at large speed of turn 1.
Verstappen had let Stroll pass to perform a flying lap on the softs as they rounded the final corners of the previous lap, and they ran side by side in the straight starting the next lap.
Both were using the DRS as Verstappen stolen on the inside, with the pair meeting at the top and Stroll being shot at high speed, in the gravel on the outside and out of the session.
Verstappen stormed over his team radio about the incident, which is currently under investigation by flight attendants.
It was only eight minutes before the session resumed, and few drivers improve afterward as teams scramble to collect all the long-term, fuel-rich data they can and drop it. some without full qualification simulations.
Verstappen’s best time on the mediums before the first red flag was his best second behind Bottas, with Norris one of the few late improvers as he jumped to third, finishing 0.803s on the soft.
Leclerc’s average tire effort was reduced to fourth place, with Carlos Sainz Jr, who had incurred Verstappen’s wrath by overtaking him in the pit straight at a time before Gasly’s red flag, also jumping into the last minutes to take fifth place.
This pushed Vettel’s best on the midrange to sixth, ahead of Gasly’s best on the yellow-walled rubber, Hamilton also descending to eighth.
Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon were able to complete runs on soft tires and ended up completing the top 10 thanks to their efforts.
Daniel Ricciardo was only able to stomp times in 13th place during his last minutes of racing on the softs, as his first flying lap was spoiled by a Williams coming out of the pits as he arrived flashing in the right handed.
Stroll’s best time on the hards was the best of the session, which placed him 19th in the final standings.
Portuguese GP F1 FP2 results
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1 min 17 940 s|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull / Honda||0.595 s|
|3||Lando norris||McLaren / Renault||0.803 s|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||0.898 s|
|5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren / Renault||1.173 s|
|6||Sebastian vettel||Ferrari||1.235 s|
|7||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri / Honda||1.238 s|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1.368 s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Renault||1.556 s|
|ten||Alexander Albon||Red Bull / Honda||1.703 s|
|11||George russell||Williams / Mercedes||1.881 s|
|12||Sergio perez||Race point / Mercedes||1.961s|
|14||Nicolas latifi||Williams / Mercedes||2.525 s|
|15||Kimi raikkonen||Alfa Romeo / Ferrari||2.550 s|
|16||Kevin magnussen||Haas / Ferrari||2,740 s|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri / Honda||2.789 s|
|18||Romain Grosjean||Haas / Ferrari||2.927 s|
|19||Lance ride||Race point / Mercedes||3.043s|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo / Ferrari||3.456s|