Max Verstappen set the fastest time of the FP1 at Red Bull Ring, with the lap time of 1:05.412s. He was followed by Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon on 2nd and 3rd respectively, with the times of 1:05.748 and 1:05.790s. The rest that completed the top 10 of that session were: Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Norris, Stroll, Perez and Giovinazzi.
The track temperature has dropped since the FP1, with an increased chance of rain from 40% to 80% in just few hours. The weather at the beautiful Styrian hills can be a little unpredictable sometimes, so it was definitely interesting to see the situation develop during the session.
In the first minutes of the session, a big portion of the grid went out immediately to test the ground of the track. Many teams have had the intermediate compound of the tyres prepared, as a sign that they were also slowly preparing for the possibility of rain. Max Verstappen was the first one to set a notable time, with the 1:06.722s. Very soon we’ve heard Perez’s team radio, where he informed the team that it is indeed already raining on track, but it still feels good enough to continue on the tyres he started with (hard compound). It was also reported before by Sainz.
Ten minutes in the session was yellow flagged due to a spin of Sainz in turn 4, but he was able to rejoin the track and continue. This time of the session has also seen the top 10 of: Hamilton, Verstappen, Alonso, Norris, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Ocon, Vettel, Giovinazzi and Perez. Many reported the increase of wind in addition to the rain on track.
As we’ve already observed this morning, some of the teams have been looking quite racey at the Red Bull Ring. Alpine seems to continue their good performance, as well as the McLarens who obviously seen Lando Norris on P3 after one of the crazy races that Austria gave us in 2020. As a reminder, this race will be followed by the Austrian GP once again at Red Bull Ring, as a part of the triple-header bonanza we’ve got planned for 2021. Another team that is continuing their progress is Aston Martin, who’ve seen Stroll setting purple sectors in sector 1 and 2 during the first 20 minutes of the FP2.
Nicolas Latifi was another driver that spun and momentarily caused a yellow flag, but he was able to continue on track. Afterwards another driver brought out a yellow flag, and it was Mazepin who spun at turn 5, but was able to continue as well. Half an hour into the session the top 10 were: Verstappen, with the time of 1:05.412s; Ricciardo, Ocon, Hamilton, Alonso Vettel, Norris, Stroll, Perez and Sainz.
The only driver that did not set a time during that session was Gasly, who did not participate in the FP2 due to a power unit sensor issue. Sad outcome for the French after being second during the first practice, where both of the Alpha Tauri cars looked very solid with their pace.
Bottas had a spin in the pitlane after a tyre warm up, but the incident caused no trouble in the end. During that time of the session the Finnish driver occupied 12th place on the leaderboard. There was an information from the race control that this incident will be eventually investigated after the session. 15 minutes till the end of the session, the top 10 was: Verstappen, Ricciardo, Ocon, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Norris, Stroll, Perez and Giovinazzi.
The rest of the session went without any major incidents. The complete results after the second free practice at Red Bull Ring for the Styrian GP: