In warmer and windier conditions than Friday’s first FP1 session, the second 60-minute practice race was initially led by Antonio Giovinazzi from Alfa Romeo.
But Giovinazzi’s lead time from the opening minutes was quickly beaten by a flurry of quick times, as Esteban Ocon advanced with 1m20.303s and Bottas 1m19.087s.
Bottas was again the fastest with a 1m18.419s after a few slower laps, with Hamilton trailing his teammate by 0.042s and Verstappen 0.366s slower after his fastest lap on the mediums.
The session was halted after 10 minutes, when the virtual safety car was activated so that a body part – which had taken off from Carlos Sainz Jr’s car after running heavily over the curbs of Turn 9 leading to the rear straight – could be cleared by a marshal.
A brief lull in the action followed as most of the field returned to the pits before the qualifying practice practice on soft tires.
The Mercedes riders led the field on the softer compound, Bottas edging Hamilton.
Both cars were slower than they had been on the midrange in the opening segment, but saved time significantly as their laps improved.
Bottas’ 1m18.309 put him more in the lead at the top of the lap times, but not for long, because Hamilton completed his lap with the best time then in the last sector to go faster over 1m18.170s.
As he continued to ride on the same soft tires for a race before the start of the long-term data collection period in the second half of the session, Bottas was informed that Hamilton had been running in a motor mode. different, which Mercedes said had a 0.1. difference of s – the time between them being 0.139 s.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, in the pits
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Verstappen’s flying spin on the softs came a few minutes after the Mercedes cars, as has become the norm in FP2’s shortened action, and he had to deal with significantly more traffic.
The Dutchman was just over 0.1 seconds slower than Hamilton in the first sector and lost just a fraction more in the second, but then had to catch a wild moment going deep into the reshaped 10 turn.
Verstappen had to go completely off the track to catch his RB16B and quickly backed off in the following corners.
He continued to ride on the softs, but didn’t go any faster than he had on the mediums, before moving on to his race preparation run.
Verstappen’s absence in the early stages left a spot in which Charles Leclerc scored his Ferrari – finishing an encouraging 0.165s slower than Hamilton with the fastest time of the session in the third sector.
Ocon led his alpine teammate Fernando Alonso to fourth and fifth places, Pierre Gasly then ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in the second AlphaTauri.
Sainz finished eighth for Ferrari, Verstappen’s best time on average tire placing him ninth, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, who finished his flyer on soft tires but finished 0.748s slower than Hamilton’s best time.
Verstappen finished the session with the right footrest of his front wing suspended, picking up damage on the curbs uphill to the right of Turn 8 in the final laps after making a pit stop at the end of his simulated race. .