Valtteri Bottas edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top the timesheet in the second free practice session ahead of the British Grand Prix.
Bottas had been denied top spot in the morning session by Pierre Gasly but in the afternoon there was no stopping the Finn. Bottas stamped his authority on the session early on, running eight tenths quicker than Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen on the medium Pirelli compound on offer at Silverstone this weekend.
The tyre clearly suited the Mercedes driver, as during the performance runs on soft compound tyres later in the session, Bottas initially failed to improve on his medium-shod best time. Eventually he managed to find a comfort zone and posted a lap of 1:26.732s lap that stood as the fastest of the session.
Team-mate Hamilton, who had been well off Bottas’ pace in the early part of the session, found a more significant improvement on the soft tyres and he hauled himself to within seven hundredths of a second of Bottas’ benchmark.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took third place in the session finishing just under two tenths off Bottas to suggest that the Italian team might challenge expected pacesetters Mercedes at high-speed Silverstone.
The Monegasque driver’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fourth but while he made a good improvement with his soft tyre run he still finished more than two tenths shy of his team-mate’s time.
FP1’s fastest man Pierre Gasly couldn’t match his heroics from the morning session but he still managed to end the second 90-minute practice period as the highest placed Red Bull, just under seven hundredths of a second behind Vettel.
The French driver was separated from team-mate Max Verstappen by McLaren’s Lando Norris. The British rookie end the session just under three tenths of a second adtift of Gasly and 0.016s ahead of seventh-placed Verstappen.
Eight place went to Carlos Sainz in the second McLaren, with the Spaniard finishing one hundredth of a second ahead of Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon. The top 10 ordser was rounded out by Sergio Perez of Racing Point who set a best time of 1:28.002 to finish 1.270 off Bottas.
2019 FIA Formula One British Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 25 1:26.732
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 35 1:26.801 0.069
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 30 1:26.929 0.197
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 30 1:27.180 0.448
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 31 1:27.249 0.517
6 Lando Norris McLaren 38 1:27.546 0.814
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 32 1:27.562 0.830
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 39 1:27.987 1.255
9 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 38 1:27.997 1.265
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point 32 1:28.002 1.270
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 36 1:28.008 1.276
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 30 1:28.059 1.327
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 33 1:28.126 1.394
14 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 17 1:28.128 1.396
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 34 1:28.217 1.485
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point 37 1:28.240 1.508
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 28 1:28.294 1.562
18 Romain Grosjean Haas 26 1:28.794 2.062
19 Robert Kubica Williams 37 1:29.935 3.203
20 George Russell Williams 11 1:30.514 3.782