Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes one-two in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing just three thousandths of a second ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the Mercedes’ closest challenger finishing seven hundredths of a second behind champion Hamilton.
Bottas set his session-best time just after the session was a third of the way through. After early laps on soft tyres, Bottas followed Vettel out on track on supersofts.
Both backed off on their initial flyers and went for a second attempt, with Vettel initially claiming top spot with his lap of 1:08.919. Bottas was close behind, however, and he took over at the top moments later when he crossed the line in 1:08.846.
Hamilton emerged on supersofts on the 40-minute mark, and despite setting the fastest first and third sector time, the champion lost out to his team-mate in the more technical middle sector and this finished in P2 with a best time of 1:0.8.849.
With Vettel third, fourth place in the session went to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who finished 0.3s behind Bottas but 0.175 ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen, who spent much of the session in the garage with a suspected oil leak on his car.
Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen took sixth place ahead of Romain Grosjean, with the Haas driver repeating his morning efforts by finish in a best-of-the rest seventh place.
The French driver finished 0.174s ahead of Sauber's Charles Leclerc by 0.174s, who edged second Haas driver Kevin Magnussen by 0.064s. Tenth place in the session went to Esteban Ocon of Racing Point Force India, who finished 1.313 off Bottas.
There was trouble in the session for Nico Hulkenberg. The Renault driver crashed out nine minutes into the session, spinning into the barriers when he dropped a right-front wheel onto the grass on the exit of Turn 14. The German driver damaged both ends of his car in the incident and he played no further part in the session.
2018 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 48 1:08.846
2 Lewis Hamilton 43 1:08.849 0.003
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 42 1:08.919 0.073
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 44 1:09.164 0.318
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 28 1:09.339 0.493
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 42 1:09.412 0.566
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 44 1:09.769 0.923
8 Charles Leclerc Sauber 44 1:09.943 1.097
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas 39 1:10.007 1.161
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 45 1:10.159 1.313
11 Sergio Perez Force India 23 1:10.320 1.474
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 44 1:10.330 1.484
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 36 1:10.332 1.486
14 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 48 1:10.458 1.612
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 44 1:10.532 1.686
16 Sergey Sirotkin Mercedes 46 1:10.569 1.723
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 26 1:10.596 1.750
18 Lance Stroll Williams 44 1:10.662 1.816
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 46 1:10.734 1.888
20 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 6 1:11.674 2.828