With the track dry the second Friday practice session would get underway
with a rush of drivers coming out. There was a mix of hard and medium with
one Williams out on the soft. The first quick time would come from Bottas
with a 1m:22.847. Leclerc would go quickest with a 1m:22.498 but Hamilton
would move ahead with a 1m:22.450 except Leclerc was on the hard tyre.
Bottas now third followed by Sainz and Verstappen. Vettel would go second
and Verstappen now third. Hamilton would improve with a 1m:21.972 with
Vettel second followed by Verstappen, Leclerc, Bottas, Sainz, Albon,
Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Perez tenth. Bottas was able to move up to second
making it a 1-2 for Mercedes.
Drivers would start to switch to the soft tyre and Leclerc would go quickest
with a 1m:20.978. Ricciardo was now fourth but on the medium. On the soft
tyre Vettel would go second and Hamilton and Bottas third and fourth. But
Verstappen and Albon would improve to be third and fourth with the Mercedes
dropping to fifth and sixth. Light rain would start to fall seeing the track
empty. But the session would be red flagged to allow the track to be cleaned
over gravel which had been brought onto the track as cars went off into the
gravel and then returned. The session would restart with the track again dry
seeing drivers coming back out. With thirty minutes remaining The Ferraris
would be split as Hamilton moved into second after having benefitted from a
tow from Bottas. Bottas would improve to be fourth making it a Ferrari -
Mercedes - Ferrari - Mercedes. The Red Bull's were fifth and sixth followed
by Gasly, Grosjean, Ricciardo and Kvyat in tenth.
Both Williams drivers were still in their pits with twenty five minutes
remaining. But both woukd come out for a further soft tyre run. They would
be slowest amongst the twenty cars. There was a mix of all tyre types as
drivers worked through longer runs with even the hard tyre been used. But
rain would start to get worse on certain parts of the track. But drivers
would continue with their programmes including both Williams drivers. With
the end of the session the order was Leclerc, Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas,
Verstappen, Albon, Gasly, Grosjean, Ricciardo, and Kvyat tenth. The Williams
drivers were again slowest but Robert would be ahead of team-mate George.
The drivers had completed split programmes with their tyres. But it must be
encouraging for Robert to be ahead of his team-mate.
Robert would be first out running on the soft tyre. Robert would set a
1m:26.572 on his first lap. Robert would improve with a 1m:25.309 to move
ahead of George. Robert would set a 1m:24.462 to remain in front of George.
Robert would also pit after a nine lap run. After a short stop Robert would
return again on the soft tyre. Robert would improve with a 1m:23.737 and
would pit after a four lap run affected by the rain. Robert was back out for
a soft tyre run which was turning out to be a longer run with his times in
the 1m:27s after seven laps. Robert would complete his run having done
fifteen laps. But he would pit and he would return for a single lap as the
George would follow his team-mate out but was on the medium tyre. George
would set a 1m:26.338 to move ahead of Robert. A 1m:25.399 from George but
this would see him drop behind Robert. But George would find more pace with
a 1m:24.559 after six laps on the medium tyre. George would pit after a
seven lap run. George would also come out for a soft tyre run and would
improve but only by a small margin with a 1m:24.313. George would only do
three laps on this run due to light rain falling. George would again return
for a further soft tyre run. But after a short run on the soft tyre he would
pit taking on the medium tyre. George was able to benefit from the tow to
set times in the 1m:26s. George would pit after a nine lap run.