Hamilton leads Botta in Austrian Grand Prix second practice

Austria, Spielberg-Mercedes found a welcome speed in the rain at the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday, with F1 champion Lewis Hamilton leading a damp second practice ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The conditions didn’t quite match the tastes of championship leader Max Verstappen. Red Bull drivers broke through the leaderboard early on, but fell to third when the truck got wet.

Hamilton was 0.189 seconds ahead of Bottas and .217 seconds away from Verstappen on Red Bull’s home track.

But after losing the last four races to Red Bull, Hamilton remains vigilant about what will happen in Saturday’s qualifying.

“They definitely have something special in their bag, I already know it,” said Hamilton, who won his final victory at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9. gap). I think it will come out a little more tomorrow. “

Hamilton has a 100 pole position in F1 but will beat Verstappen 3–2 this season.

“They basically have the qualifying mode we had,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know where they get it (extra speed), but it’s impressive and we have to work hard to see if we can match it. . “

Still, the use of the Mercedes engine by Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, a pair of fourth and fifth drivers Aston Martin, was a positive sign for Mercedes.

Verstappen won here last Sunday, leading Hamilton to 18 points after eight races. A horde of orange Dutch fans wants to succeed again on Sunday.

With about 25 minutes remaining in the afternoon session, rain arrived on the track and Verstappen was advised to stay on the track as wet conditions were expected for the Sunday race.

The circuit also became slippery for Hamilton, who had gravel near the end of P2 on Turn 4.

Meanwhile, two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso has expressed frustration to one of the drivers in front of him.

“I can’t believe it,” Alonso angry on team radio, using abusive words. “Who was that man?”

Alonso probably expected it to be one of the less experienced drivers.

“(Kimi) Raikkonen,” said the engineer softly.

Perhaps in honor of his two-year senior 2007 F1 champion, Alonso didn’t say anything.

Previously, Verstappen led P1 from two Ferraris, with Charles Leclerc .266 in second and Carlos Sainz Jr. in third.

Hamilton, who had an early lap time in 7th place, had a bad start because he was off course.

He said the car was set up incorrectly.

“I was trying different variations of the car, so the car was unhappy, so I had a little trouble,” Hamilton said. “So I had to make a few more changes, and it made me feel much better.”

Bottas performed well in 4th place.

In cool and cloudy conditions, it was difficult to get proper tire grip. Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda struggled to control AlphaTauri and boarded the gravel, and the walk headed for the grass area. He later boarded the gravel and complained that the tires were “finished.”

Hamilton also had a problem with the tires.

“The tires aren’t ready yet,” he said on team radio with a few minutes left.

Meanwhile, F2 championship leader Guanyu Zhou made his debut on the Alpine team and finished 14th.

“Thank you very much for this experience, everyone, I absolutely loved it,” Zhou finally told his team.

He was Alpine’s test driver and replaced Alonso only in the first session.

The last Chinese driver in F1 was eight years ago when Martin Hua actually drove in Caterham.

Many people gathered around the Red Bull Ring, surrounded by the mountains of Styria, and hundreds of tents spread out in the fields around the makeshift campsite.

Cloudy is expected in Saturday’s qualifying and the weather can affect the grid position and the race itself.

Thunderstorms are expected in the Sunday race.

Jerome Pugmaia

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