Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc went quickest in an incident-packed second free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix that saw red flags shown for crashes involving Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas topped the timesheet early in the session on medium compound tyres and as the field began to make the switch to soft tyres for their performance runs Verstappen crashed out.
The Dutchman was still on the medium tyres with which he began the session when he lost the rear on the entry to the final corner, Turn 10. The Red Bull driver spun through the gravel trap and hit the wall hard with the rear of his RB15, causing substantial damage. Verstappen was unhurt in the incident and his damage car was swiftly recovered.
The session began again with performance runs but the red flags were soon shown again, this time for Bottas, who lost control in Turn 6. The Mercedes driver attempted to correct the error but his car snapped back to the right and he arrowed straight into the wall at high speed.
The caution following Bottas’ accident prevented team-mate Lewis Hamilton form getting a clear performance run and he ended the session fourth quickest.
Both Ferrari drivers managed to get a clear run at a quali sim but there was another moment of drama when Sebastian Vettel also went into the final corner too hot and lost control. The four-time champion slid across the gravel trap but fortunate to come to a halt parallel to the barriers and free of damage.
It was left to Leclerc to claim top spot and though he didn’t get a totally clean run due to the yellow flags in Turn 10 his time of 1:05.086 was still good enough to secure top spot.
Bottas took second place with his medium tyre time, three tenths adrift of Leclerc, while Pierre Gasly gave home team Red Bull some comfort with third place. The Frenchman set a time of 1:05.487 to end the afternoon 0.401down on Leclerc. Gasly also had a trip through the gravel at Turn 4 during the session.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fifth quickest ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean who finished 0.615s off the pace. Kimi Raikkonen took seventh place ahead of Vettel and Verstappen, and the top 10 order was rounded out by Lando Norris in the second McLaren.
2019 FIA Formula One Austrian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 37 1:05.086
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 12 1:05.417 0.331
3 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 33 1:05.487 0.401
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 43 1:05.529 0.443
5 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 44 1:05.545 0.459
6 Romain Grosjean Haas 38 1:05.701 0.615
7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 37 1:05.728 0.642
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 34 1:05.871 0.785
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull 13 1:05.879 0.793
10 Lando Norris McLaren 48 1:05.952 0.866
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 41 1:05.960 0.874
12 Sergio Perez Racing Point 43 1:05.964 0.878
13 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 46 1:06.064 0.978
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 37 1:06.119 1.033
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 38 1:06.148 1.062
16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 27 1:06.249 1.163
17 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 30 1:06.418 1.332
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point 40 1:06.829 1.743
19 George Russell Williams 27 1:07.217 2.131
20 Robert Kubica Williams 38 1:08.508 3.422