Lewis Hamilton doubles the profit in a completely rain-free FP2, setting the quickest time ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas and Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.
Plenty of spins and errors characterised today's FP2 session, after the Briton topped this morning’s FP1 with the laptime of 1’04’’816 and was the only driver who managed to demolish the 1’05’’ wall. In the afternoon Hamilton polished his best laptime by half a second. Bottas follows 0.197s behind with Sergio Perez in 3rd ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Racing Point emerged as a strong contender as for the qualifying and race pace simulation, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull focussed on different set-ups and getting back to racing normality overall.
Renault-powered cars stand proudly behind Vettel, as Daniel Ricciardo clocked the 5th best time and over 6 tenths off the pace ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Lance Stroll ended the session in 7th, ahead of Verstappen, Leclerc and Sainz.
Esteban Ocon completed his first free practice day as an official Renault driver in P11, 1.1s off the top. AlphaTauri’s Kvyat stands in 12th, just 0.01s clear of Alex Albon. A proper top team-midfield distinction has not emerged from today’s practice sessions, as readapting to the track was priority for most of the teams.
While it is still to early to draw the first conclusions, it is safe to say that F1 is back in full effect as legal inter-team battles have commenced, with Mercedes urging Red Bull to consider the timing of the protest against the infamous DAS and Ferrari still blocking the release of further details on its 2019 engine agreement with the FIA.