Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top as Racing Point show their pace

2020 Austrian Grand Prix second practice

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The top two were unchanged in the second practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton led another one-two for Mercedes with team mate Valtteri Bottas.

But for the second session in a row there was little sign of any serious threat to the black cars from their principal rivals Ferrari and Red Bll, who lapped shy of their times by six- and nine-tenths of a second respectively over the 64-second lap.

Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari was narrowly edged out of third place by Sergio Perez’s Racing Point. Team mate Lance Stroll would have been closer to backing him up, but lost time behind Valtteri Bottas during his qualifying simulation.

Five different cars appeared in the top six. Daniel Ricciardo put his Renault fifth, the team making a delayed start to the session after Esteban Ocon’s first practice run was halted when his car shed a piece of bodywork, possibly after contact with a kerb. The similarly-powered McLaren of Lando Norris was sixth.

At their home track, Red Bull managed no better than eighth and 13th for Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon. Both suffered off-track moments reminiscent of their struggles in pre-season testing. Albon’s turn one spin looked like a copy of Verstappen’s during first practice. Behind last year’s winner came last year’s pole sitter, Charles Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz Jnr in the second McLaren.

Romain Grosjean managed to complete a useful amount of running following his problems in the morning. However he was unhappy with his car’s braking performance, complaining of lock-ups.

While rookie Nicholas Latifi had a few offs in his Williams, George Russell lifted the team’s other car out of the bottom two places. He edged Kimi Raikkonen into 19th, the Alfa Romeo driver going off at turn five during the session.

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2020 Austrian Grand Prix second practice lap times

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’04.304 42
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’04.501 0.197 37
3 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1’04.945 0.641 48
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’04.961 0.657 48
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1’04.972 0.668 36
6 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’05.087 0.783 38
7 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1’05.135 0.831 49
8 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’05.215 0.911 41
9 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’05.298 0.994 46
10 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren-Renault 1’05.352 1.048 37
11 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1’05.415 1.111 42
12 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1’05.443 1.139 34
13 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1’05.453 1.149 47
14 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’05.608 1.304 49
15 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’05.678 1.374 44
16 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’05.908 1.604 50
17 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1’06.016 1.712 51
18 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’06.125 1.821 40
19 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’06.278 1.974 44
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1’07.124 2.820 45

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’04.304

+0.197 Valtteri Bottas – 1’04.501

+0.641 Sergio Perez – 1’04.945

+0.657 Sebastian Vettel – 1’04.961

+0.668 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’04.972

+0.783 Lando Norris – 1’05.087

+0.831 Lance Stroll – 1’05.135

+0.911 Max Verstappen – 1’05.215

+0.994 Charles Leclerc – 1’05.298

+1.048 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’05.352

+1.111 Esteban Ocon – 1’05.415

+1.139 Daniil Kvyat – 1’05.443

+1.149 Alexander Albon – 1’05.453

+1.304 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’05.608

+1.374 Kevin Magnussen – 1’05.678

+1.604 Romain Grosjean – 1’05.908

+1.712 Pierre Gasly – 1’06.016

+1.821 George Russell – 1’06.125

+1.974 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’06.278

+2.820 Nicholas Latifi – 1’07.124

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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44 comments on “Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top as Racing Point show their pace”

  1. Very dissapointed with RB pace.

    1. @jlb Yes, but nothing to worry about at this point.

      1. @jerejj we will have to wait and see, but the suggestion was that the handling balance of the Red Bull looks like it hasn’t improved since the pre-season tests and that the car has a notable tendency towards oversteer.

        It is something that probably won’t show up too much over a qualifying lap or a short stint, but I can see it being more of a problem over a race distance if they start struggling with higher rear tyre wear than their rivals.

  2. Looks so close behind the Mercs. I hope for the sake of the championship they have some reliability issues because let’s face it, that pace is going nowhere.

    Also – does anyone else just see Rosberg when they look at Hamilton in that black helmet?!

    1. @cduk_mugello I don’t. I guess you’re referring to the similarity in the main color scheme.

      1. @jerejj yeah compare the image at the top to this

        1. You’re right it does look like Rosberg quite a bit

  3. That Pink Mercedes is looking decently fast.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      3rd July 2020, 16:07

      When you look more closely at some of the extra things they have brought along, it is starting to be pretty different now. And they won’t have had access to the inside. It will be taking inspiration from simply looking at another teams car. If they have managed to make a great car just based on a shape (not including all the other very complex things inside then that is a pretty good achievement really as there is nothing against what they have done.

      1. This team(Force India) always had a way to maximise results from resources available. what’s more impressive is that they dont plan to add too many upgrades like top-3 teams to their car in 2020 and it seems like they might not need to either.

    2. William Jones
      3rd July 2020, 16:31

      The Tracing Point?

  4. Interesting, looking forward to Saturday to see what every team’s true pace actually looks like!

  5. Red Bull are going to clarify to the FIA with the DAS on the Mercedes. If the Racing Point pace is real, then will they also protest the legality of the Pink W10? If the Racing pace is also real, then any mistakes from the top 3 teams will be even more costly this year, in addition to the shorter calendar.

    1. @krichelle Interesting stuff indeed.

    2. @krichelle In Spanish TV they said that they will also ask for clarification on the “pink Merc” debate.

      1. If that is true then Horner/Marko/RBR are worse than sour grapes.

        1. Yes, shame on them for wanting a fair competition..

    3. @krichelle I suspect that they might be thinking about it, as there are several incentives for them to do so.

      It would allow them to test quite how far they can push the rules with their junior team – they’ve already said that they are now pushing the bounds further on what is permissible, with both the STR14 and AP01 using a lot more material directly from the parent team, but protesting Racing Point would allow them to define those boundaries and potentially push that collaboration even further.

      There are also the simple commercial aspects too – even if Red Bull do keep themselves ahead of Racing Point, there’s every incentive to get Racing Point penalised in the hope of getting their junior team, AlphaTauri, further up in the WCC given the bigger financial payout at the end.

  6. So much for the idea that 2020 would be an “unusual” season.

    1. So much for F1 fans not complaining about literally anything that happens

      1. If stuff is worth complaining about, you might as well complain about it.

        1. Well that is how the world works today..

      2. Julian (@julianwins)
        4th July 2020, 3:16

        So true.

  7. Stroll Sr approach really makes a difference on Racing Point. Maybe it could only lasts first few races because they going to develop last year tech by themselves, but with shortened calendar it should be enough.

  8. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    3rd July 2020, 16:07

    Really hope there’s a lot of sandbags out there at the moment.

    1. Probably Mercedes has the heaviest sandbags….

  9. Uhm, I know it’s just practice and it’s early days etc… but can we just find a technical loophole to hobble Mercedes and have the most awesome championship battle ever? From Perez down we have 8 teams represented within around 7 tenths – that’s a pretty tight field.

    1. ColdFly (@)
      3rd July 2020, 16:37

      And even Williams is within 1s of the (2nd) Racing Point, @keithedin.
      We might have 9 teams in Formula 1.5 this year ;)

  10. Only Facts!
    3rd July 2020, 16:34

    Exercise for the mind:
    Assuming that Mercedes showed their true race pace, like they did in testing last year, holding the party mode back.
    And let’s assume RBR is sandbagging.
    RBR would need a full second in the bag just to be even. And another 0.3 when partying just to have a shot at pole .
    It looks like Mercedes will be able to enjoy some fresh air for now.
    Hope not for the competition. But midfield is looking to be a warzone!

  11. Andre Furtado
    3rd July 2020, 16:35

    Best thing Sebastian can do right now is be in front of Leclerc all the time. I am A huge fan of him. Sometimes a driver has a car and engine that matches to their driving style. If Sebastian can’t be ahead of Leclerc this year it was probably for the best. It’s time for the truth, Sebastian put your foot down and be faster or get out of the way.

  12. It’s way too early to make any definitive analysis, but given that the lap is only just over a minute long, the gap from Mercedes to everyone else is significant.

  13. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    3rd July 2020, 17:09

    God it feels nice to watch live F1 again but Mercedes look dominant at least for the first 2 races even know it’s Friday. The fight for 3rd is going to be fun to watch but surely Red Bull will be tough, may even get Max after one of the Mercs.

  14. Is Lafitti outside of the 107%?

    1. No, but as you probably know, that rule doesn’t apply until qualifying and usually isn’t actually applied then.

      1. @scalextric it does not apply, though technically it does have relevance in that, if a driver were unable to set a time in qualifying for some reason, the team could then use the performance of that driver in the practice sessions as proof that they could lap within 107% of the leading car to justify their claim to starting the race.

        @olivier as others have noted, it is only applied during qualifying – but, as an aside, the lap time that Latifi set is comfortably within 107% (you’d be looking at a cut off of a 1m08.805s lap time, so Latifi has a margin of about 1.7s).

    2. ColdFly (@)
      3rd July 2020, 18:44

      It’s actually easy to calculate yourself, @olivier. Just divide the slower time (in seconds with 3 decimals) by the fastest time.
      But as @scalextric mentions, this has no impact unless it happens during quali (Q1 to be more specific).

      1. Cool. Thank you both.

  15. Alan Torres
    3rd July 2020, 20:32

    Hello !! is there a place that we can see all lap times? not only the fastest one..

    1. Yes, PDFs can be downloaded from the FIA website, F1 Official Documents, inside the F1 section.

  16. Jake Butler
    3rd July 2020, 21:14

    Drivers more than***

    1. That was for Alan Torres.

  17. Racing Point could be the equivalent of Williams 2014.
    I hope Perrez destroys Stroll this year, and i hope Ricciardo destroys the highly over rated Ocon.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      4th July 2020, 12:29

      Good. Good. Let the hate flow through you …

Comments are closed.