Valtteri Bottas dominated the second practice of the 2020 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton, while Renault’s strong start to the weekend in Sochi continued as Red Bull struggled.
Both Mercedes riders lost time on their final runs on the soft tires, with Hamilton having to abandon his lap after starting and nearly hitting the barriers in the clearance zone at Turn 13.
Max Verstappen was Red Bull’s fastest rider in the seventh, but he also circled around trying a second qualifying simulation in the 90-minute session.
After Romain Grosjean and Lando Norris set the tone in the first races, Bottas and Hamilton then swept to the top of the clock with 1m36.065s and 1m34.890s on their first laps in FP2 on hard and medium tires respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo edged Bottas in his first round on the mediums before the Mercedes drivers moved to the soft with just over 20 minutes of session completed.
Bottas used his red-walled rubber to retake P1 with a 1m33.883s, but Hamilton quickly downgraded him to second with his best time of the session – a 1m33.786s.
The two championship leaders then returned to the track for a second soft qualifying simulation, where both showed a fast pace but made major mistakes.
Hamilton had just set the fastest times in the first two sectors and was 0.7 seconds off his best time when he locked himself at the big stop in the right turn of Turn 13 at the end of the long acceleration zone in the middle of the turn of Sochi – where Bottas and many others had had a similar incident in FP1.
The world champion had to slow down considerably to avoid hitting the barriers and returned to the pits.
Bottas then took the fastest times in the first two sectors – which he held until the end of the session – and was 0.7 seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark before losing 0.5 seconds in the last sector – including a piece as it slid widely out of the last corner and overgrown the grassy embankment leading to the main straight.
Despite the frenzied moment, Bottas managed to complete the lap in 1m33.519s and clinch the first place he held until the end of the session, keeping 0.267s ahead of his teammate.
The rest of the peloton then followed Mercedes to complete their qualifying mock testing, Ricciardo coming in third, 1.058s slower than Bottas’ best, to secure his second place in FP1 on a track suitable for Renault’s package.
Carlos Sainz Jr returned to action after his fall in FP1 cost him much of the day’s opening session and he took fourth place for McLaren, edging Norris, with Sergio Perez sixth for Racing Point .
Verstappen was seventh following his fastest lap, but he had just quickly passed the first two sectors on a second run on the softs when he lost the rear of his RB16 on the exit of turn 14 – the tight left which follows the infamous 13 right turn – and sways in a plume of tire smoke before heading back to the pit lane.
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel took the eighth and tenth, on either side of second Renault Esteban Ocon, with Alex Albon in 12th place in the other Red Bull.
After the qualifying simulations were completed, the teams moved on to the traditional long-term data collection, where both Mercedes drivers were having issues.
Hamilton again strongly locked his left front tire on turn 13 – this time with medium tires – and had to go to the run-off, albeit at a slower speed and without the threat of hitting the barriers before continuing. his path.
Bottas also had to halt his run over the tough ones as he signaled something in his cockpit, possibly a piece of duct tape, to his left hand which disrupted the way he could turn right.
He entered the pits and Mercedes adjusted their cockpit in the pit lane before continuing their hard work.
F1 Russian Grand Prix Free Practice 2 results
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||0.267 s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||1.058 s|
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren / Renault||1.204 s|
|5||Lando norris||McLaren / Renault||1.328 s|
|6||Sergio perez||Race point / Mercedes||1.371 s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull / Honda||1.529 s|
|8||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1.533 s|
|11||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri / Honda||1.691 s|
|12||Alexander Albon||Red Bull / Honda||1.723s|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri / Honda||1.942s|
|14||Kimi raikkonen||Alfa Romeo / Ferrari||1.997s|
|15||Nicolas latifi||Williams / Mercedes||2.044s|
|16||George russell||Williams / Mercedes||2.056 s|
|17||Lance ride||Race point / Mercedes||2.108s|
|18||Kevin magnussen||Haas / Ferrari||2.210 s|
|19||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo / Ferrari||2.534 s|
|20||Romain Grosjean||Haas / Ferrari||3.339 s|