Lewis Hamilton leads FP2 with 1:18.170!
Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas spent the early parts of this afternoon trading places at the top of the timesheets, proving the competition is tight ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
Bottas managed the first fastest lap of the session with a 19:18.7 on the medium tyre and was now around half a second down on what he set the pace in FP1 with on the softs.
Seven minutes in and Verstappen had already traded the top spot with Valtteri after a lap in 1:19.04 on his first attempt on the medium tyres.
Both of the Alpine cars impressed early on this afternoon, landing in the top five during the medium-tyre runs.
A Virtual Safety Car period was needed after Carlos Sainz lost part of his SF21 going over the Turn Nine kerb.
The green light was given quickly after, with Bottas now leading Hamilton, while Verstappen ran third fastest and Alonso fifth on the timesheet.
At the midpoint this afternoon, Lewis Hamilton had the advantage with a lap in 1:18.1, however, Max Verstappen was out on the softs and likely to trump the current record.
Surprisingly, Verstappen pulled out of his flying lap on the softs after going wide at Turn Nine and now sat in ninth ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez in tenth.
Leclerc was in third after a very strong lap and was just 0.16s off the pace – a position he held onto as time ran out today.
Hamilton remained out front with the fastest time of 1:18.170, followed by his teammate Bottas .2s behind.
The Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso continued to impress today, sitting in fourth and fifth respectively – as Ocon continues to outpace his world champion teammate.
AlphaTauri pairing Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda were tucked just behind the Alpines in P6 and P7 respectively.
Closing out the top ten was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, followed by the two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in ninth and tenth.
FP3 will begin at 11:00 am tomorrow morning, ahead of Qualifying at 2:00 pm.