It was already a difficult Friday for the Silver Arrows with front-wing damages for both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during FP1 and with the Ferraris finally being competitive again thanks to an engine-rewarding Red Bull Ring's layout.
The Finn didn't make it any easier by crashing heavily only 12 laps into his second Practice session.
Just moments after Max Verstappen's debries were cleared, Bottas overcorrected a huge snap of oversteer in turn six, floating over the gravel in the escape road and wreking the front-end of his Mercedes car on the barriers.
The #77 was at that moment the fastest car on track in 1:05.417 even if not fully happy with the overall balance. This instability, added to the hot tarmac and the strong wind forced the Finn into a mistake that could cost a lot. Not only for himself in terms of confidence -something he'd really need after having been annihilated by Lewis Hamilton in France- but for the whole team that, due to the crash, lost many precious datas for this tight fight with the Scuderia.
Track conditions of course weren't easy for the other drivers as well, with Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel caught in a similar rear-end snap. While the Dutchman crashed heavily rear first, Vettel was lucky to avoid the barriers and get away with the mistake without any damage.
While the session went on, the last Mercedes on track proved to be once again the car to beat in terms of race pace, with a convincing long run on Hard tyres by Lewis Hamilton. Nevertheless Charles Leclerc is right up his tail with a 1:05.048 to take first place in the session and a long run on the Soft compound around the 1:08.8 mark. For what that means, with Red Bulls also wanting to shine in their home Grand Prix, we might be heading into a disputed weekend even if, due to the hot weather, FP2's times were not fully indicative, having been slower than the moring session's ones.