Brazil GP | Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in FP2, Ricciardo & Vettel pull closer

Lewis Hamilton edges atop the leaderboard once more at the Brazil GP.

Valtteri Bottas pulls closer to Lewis Hamilton, as the duo maintain Mercedes’ lead at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Keeping ahead of Red Bull and Ferrari, as the margin between the leaders reduced in second practice.

Hamilton’s fastest time of the afternoon session saw the Briton lap three-tenths down on his fastest time from the opening session. Having set a new track record for the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in a historic session for Formula One.

Hamilton’s fastest time of FP2 came 37-minutes into the session. As, after a string of sub-optimal laps, Lewis put together a string of clean sectors to edge his team-mate for the top spot.

Prior to his fastest time, Hamilton had attempted to set the pace at the Brazilian GP once more. Often falling short whilst his cars sensor failed to detect the Mercedes crossing the finish line. Including a lock-up in the final sector on the previous lap to his fastest run.

Valtteri, too, locked up on the same lap as Hamilton on the 34-minute mark. But the Finn improved on his previous best despite his mistake in the middle sector.

10-minutes before the Silver Arrows laid down the best pace of the 90-minutes, Kimi Raikkonen initiated the switch onto Pirelli’s supersoft tyres. Improving by three-tenths of a second to go top, with the margin between the two compounds averaging at three-tenths despite some larger gains.

Ferrari lead driver, Sebastian Vettel, came out on the supersoft tyres soon after Raikkonen. Taking an extra warm-up lap before attacking to go third. Though, later falling to fourth as Ricciardo pipped the German’s time.

Following a morning spent off the track, both Toro Rosso’s competed in FP2 having taken further fresh components to their Renault power unit that will see the pair start the race from the rear of the field.

By the chequered flag, Pierre Gasly completed 44 laps with his fastest time enough to reside in 16th place. While the 2017 World Endurance Champion, Brendon Hartley, came home in 17th on his birthday with 54 laps to his name. Four-tenths the difference.

Behind the Toro Rosso’s came the Sauber duo and Antonio Giovinazzi as the Italian stepped in for Kevin Magnussen in second free practice rather than first after Haas expected rain in the afternoon.

Between the Sauber duo, Pascal Wehrelin followed his stand-in, Charles Leclerc, by lapping faster than Ericsson. With Marcus struggling and spinning at Turn 11 midway through the session.

Ericsson’s spin was swiftly followed by Stoffel Vandoorne through the middle stage of the Senna-S.

A quarter of an hour of green-flag running then followed. Before Romain Grosjean spun at Turn 4, as the Frenchman tried to carry too much speed into the left-hander where Sebastian Vettel collided with Bruno Senna during his title-clinching race back in 2012.

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:09.515 42
2 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:09.563 0.048s 45
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:09.743 0.228s 37
4 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:09.875 0.360s 48
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:09.886 0.371s 38
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:10.117 0.602s 45
7 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:10.306 0.791s 49
8 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:10.373 0.858s 42
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:10.396 0.881s 39
10 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:10.655 1.140s 31
11 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:10.685 1.170s 42
12 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:10.695 1.180s 43
13 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:10.902 1.387s 38
14 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:11.064 1.549s 44
15 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:11.300 1.785s 39
16 10 Pierre Gasly TORO ROSSO 1:11.422 1.907s 44
17 28 Brendon Hartley TORO ROSSO 1:11.821 2.306s 54
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 1:11.857 2.342s 43
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:11.989 2.474s 17
20 50 Antonio Giovinazzi HAAS FERRARI 1:12.417 2.902s 37

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