FP2 Portugal: Max Verstappen splits the two Mercedes with Hamilton dominating the afternoon session
FP2 was dominated by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton running fastest, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the second W12 of Valtteri Bottas in third.
FP2 was delayed by ten minutes this afternoon, as F1 race director Michael Masi and his team mended issues related to the drain covers.
At 3:10 pm the track was clear and the teams piled out of the pits to make the most of this afternoon’s session.
Ten minutes in, and this morning’s leader, Valtteri Bottas was in front once again, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, and his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton who was .085s off the pace.
The Red Bull of Sergio Perez was sitting in fourth, with Verstappen in sixth. The Dutch driver retired to the pits minutes earlier after reporting his brake-by-wire had failed.
With 45 minutes left on the clock, Verstappen returned to the track, after Team Principal Christian Horner confirmed “It was just a sensor issue that has been rectified”.
After returning, the young driver topped the timesheets for a moment with a 1:20.322s, however, the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas jumped ahead once more with a 1:20.181s – meanwhile, Hamilton remained in fourth 0.186s off the pace.
After an impeccable lap, with 37 minutes left on the clock, Hamilton made his way out ahead in comfortable fashion with a 1:19.837s, on the soft Pirellis – with a .0344s lead on his Finnish teammate now.
At the halfway mark in FP2, it was a Mercedes one-two. Hamilton remained in front followed ever so closely by Bottas, with the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in third, and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in fourth.
In the final 15 minutes, Verstappen had lifted his RB16B back into P2 on the timesheets just 0.143 off the pace.
Bottas, who led the morning session, was in third this afternoon, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in fourth, and the two Alpine’s – Fernando Alonso in fifth and Esteban Ocon in sixth.
The second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was seventh fastest this afternoon, ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in eighth Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in ninth and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez closing out the top ten.
FP3 kicks off tomorrow at 12:00 pm ahead of Qualifying at 3:00 pm at the Algarve International Circuit.