In the second free practice session of the Portuguese Grand Prix of Formula 1 that took place this afternoon at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA), which was marked by the fire in Pierre Gasly's car and the incident between Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas was quick again, just like in the morning session.
Novelty was the first half hour of activity on the track dedicated to tests with Pirelli's prototype tires for 2021, which in a way prevented the teams from progressing with the adaptation of the bolides to the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
After a few laps with suitable tires this year, Bottas remained at the top of the timesheet, while Lewis Hamilton did not go beyond eighth place at 1.3s from his teammate, who was hampered by the contingencies of the session, which had two red flag situations, the first being due to the fire principle in Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri, with 48 minutes to go before the end of the session.
The second interruption happened 10 minutes after the restart, when Stroll and Verstappen, while trying to make laps launched with soft tires, hit the first corner, which left Racing Point planted in the gravel. The session was resumed about 15 minutes later and the two pilots are under investigation due to the incident.
With so many interruptions, the activity on the track was compromised and some drivers did not complete laps with soft rubbers, as was the case with the Dutchman, who was in second place half a second from Bottas, despite having used medium tires against the Finnish's soft tires. Lando Norris secured the weaver in front of Charles Leclerc who also used medium tires.
Having overcome the problems with its new aerodynamic package, McLaren seems to have found its way back to competitiveness, with Carlos Sainz in fifth place between the two Ferrari drivers.
Sebastian Vettel signed the sixth chrono, with medium tires, more than three tenths of a second from his teammate, with the two drivers showing that the Scuderia aerodynamic rear extractor, debuting in Portimão, is giving the expected results.
Despite running out of car to carry out much of the session, Gasly recorded the seventh time, also with medium tires, overtaking Lewis Hamilton, who stayed with Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon in pursuit.
Bearing in mind that neither team has managed to make long series of laps, there is no information on the behavior of Pirelli tires for Sunday's race.
Times after the 2nd free practice session
1st – Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m17.940s
2nd – Max Verstappen Red Bull / Honda 0.595s
3rd – Lando Norris McLaren / Renault
4th – Charles Leclerc Ferrari
5th – Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren / Renault 1.173s
6th – Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.235s
7th – Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri / Honda 1.238s
8th – Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.368s
9th – Esteban Ocon Renault 1.556s
10th – Alexander Albon Red Bull / Honda 1.703s
11th – George Russell Williams / Mercedes 1.881s
12th – Sergio Perez Racing Point / Mercedes 1.961s
13th – Daniel Ricciardo Renault 2.047s
14th – Nicholas Latifi Williams / Mercedes 2.525s
15th – Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo / Ferrari 2.550s
16th – Kevin Magnussen Haas / Ferrari 2.740s
17th – Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri / Honda 2.789s
18th – Romain Grosjean Haas / Ferrari 2.927s
19th – Lance Stroll Racing Point / Mercedes 3.043s
20th – Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo / Ferrari 3,456