Hamilton topped the final Friday session at Austria with a fastest lap of 1:04.523s in a tricky afternoon that showed some cars going to the gravel and spinning through the circuit. Bottas followed close behind, 0.189s far from the British, with Verstappen being 3rd and both Aston Martins 4th and 5th. The top 10 was completed by Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris’ McLaren and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Max Verstappen was the first to put on the fastest lap marking a 1:05.773 with the Pirelli prototype tyre for this GP. Each driver was supposed to mark a minimum of twelve timed laps with the Pirelli test compound.
You’ll spot a few plain black unmarked tyres out on track today. These are a new specification of rear tyre that is being tested, with a different construction. Each driver has two sets of these, which can be used in either free practice session. #AustrianGP— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) July 2, 2021
This second session saw the return of Fernando Alonso, George Russell, and Antonio Giovinazzi to their respective cars after they were replaced by Guanyu Zhou, Callum Ilott and Roy Nissany in the morning.
15 minutes into the session Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap, 0.107s quicker than Max Verstappen, the Finn with the medium compound. By this moment, Gasly, Alonso and Tsunoda sat comfortably 4th, 5th and 6th.
A cloudy and windy Spielberg set the conditions for the drivers who, with 25 minutes gone in FP2, started running with the red Pirellis and saw both Aston Martins surprisingly going top5 on the stands, split by Yuki Tsunoda.
Halfway into the session was when Max Verstappen finally put on the softest tyres but was Lewis Hamilton the one who topped Valtteri Bottas' fastest time.
Compared to the performance showed in the first practice, Sergio Perez and both Ferraris struggled with the flying laps, finishing 11th, 13th and 16th respectively.
Lando Norris reported the first signs of rain at the track during the second half of the hour, same as Charles Leclerc. The fact stayed relevant as Sunday's weather is predicted to be alike, even though the drops were not hard enough to make the drivers pit for Pirelli's Inters.
Last 20 minutes in the session were for the teams to practice race pace, as Mercedes proved to be the fastest, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton lapping on 1:09.05s, while the Red Bull drivers rounded the 1:09.09s.
Finally, when the Finn Mercedes' driver stated the rain was getting heavier and went up on his lapping times, Max Verstappen improved and stayed in the 1:09.00s. Charles Leclerc and the Dutchman were the fastest during that final rainy stint.
Action will be resumed tomorrow for FP3 and the usual Qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring.