With the F1 cars returning to the track for the second free practice session today, here’s hopes we will get more running than we did during the first session earlier this morning. To recap: over half an hour of the session was lost due to a red flag caused by a suspected power unit failure in the car of Sebastian Vettel. The issue was that the marshalls were not sure if the car was safe to be removed from track, as there was a debate if it does not pose an electrical hazard, which prolonged the course of the red flag. A big ouch from the morning, but hopefully the practice ahead of us will be more smooth in its running.
The temperature increased slightly since the morning - with the 21C of air temperature and 35.6C of track temperature. Its still sunny out here in Zandvoort, definitely a nice change since last weeks wet Belgian GP.
The green light triggered a train of drivers to get out immediately, with Raikkonen in the front, in order to gather more data for the teams, since the Zandvoort track still poses a big question mark to everybody out there. Raikkonen was the first one to set a timed lap, with the time of 1:14.256s. The leaderboard was soon topped by the two Mercedes drivers, which is definitely a good sight for the team concerning that on paper the track is better for the Red Bull car than theirs.
Soon of we’ve got a first red flag - caused by Lewis Hamilton stopping at turn 8 after loosing power in his Mercedes, which is frankly an unusual sight coming from the Brackley based team. The car was soon cleared out from the track and the circuit has been declared clear. With the drivers being let out on the track we’ve once again had a queue of drivers. After a change of the power unit Sebastian Vettel was able to get out on track in the second practice - definitely a good thing for the Aston Martin team after the issues from the morning.
20 minutes into the session we’ve got Bottas on P1 with the time of 1:11.664s, Verstappen on P2 with 1:11.693s and Ocon in P3 with 1:11.896s. The rest that completed the top 10 were: Hamilton, Leclerc, Sainz, Stroll, Giovinazzi, Vettel and Perez.
With half an hour left of the session, we’ve had a few switches in the top 10. At that part of the session, we’ve got Ocon and Alonso in P1 and P3, which is surely a promising thing for the Alpine team. Stroll and Vettel were running at P9 and P10, which is also definitely a positive for Aston Martin.
Soon after we’ve got a second red flag of the session, caused by Mazepin’s travel to the gravel in turn 11. It seems like the racing gods decided that all sessions should have at least 1 red flag and no teams should have proper running during the practice sessions that they very much need ahead of the qualifying and race. The session quickly got the green light again and off we go for more data gathering.
15 minutes before the end of the session, the situation changed again: Leclerc and Sainz P1 and P2, Ocon in P3, Bottas P4 and Verstappen P5. Leclerc’s time at that point of the session was 1:10.902s. It’s not like the practice sessions are ever properly indicating of who will be fastest, but Zandvoort definitely prefers to keep its secrets for itself and we won’t find out anything before the proper runs in qualifying and the long course of the race (72 laps).
5 minutes before the end, the top 10 was: Leclerc, with the time of 1:10.902s; Sainz, Ocon, Bottas, Verstappen, Alonso, Gasly, Norris, Giovinazzi and Vettel. After the second flag caused by Mazepin, the session run smoothly with no more incidents on track.
The final classification after the second practice session at Zandvoort: