Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Istanbul Park, 2020

Verstappen stays ahead as lap times tumble in second practice

2020 Turkish Grand Prix second practice

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Max Verstappen stayed on top of the times in the second Friday practice session at Istanbul Park, as the slippery track surface began to yield more grip.

The recently resurfaced track, which had been damp at the start of the day, dried out before the second sessions. It proved a slow process, with no other cars on-track to clean it up, and track and air temperatures rising by just one degree.

While most teams ran the hard tyres during first practice, the medium and soft compounds were favoured in the second session. Romain Grosjean, who was among the drivers to start the session on hards, made it clear he was keen to switch to softer rubber following an early spin.

The medium tyres took around six or seven laps to yield competitive times. Temperatures proved hard to maintain and drivers were repeatedly instructed to push their brakes where possible, to keep them within the right thermal window.

Esteban Ocon reported his car was turning left under braking, which the Renault pit wall explained as due to a brake temperature imbalance. Other drivers reported similar problems in first practice.

Verstappen and team mate Alexander Albon exchanged the fastest time for most of the first hour of the session. Albon was the first driver to lap the track in less than 90 seconds and ran long stints on both soft and medium tyres, still finding more pace after more than five laps. That may not prove to be the case have any bearing for race or qualifying stints, as the track evolves and cars are able to carry more speed.

Multiple drivers had relatively harmless spins during the session, losing rear grip. George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Kimi Raikkonen took spins in quick succession and finally Daniil Kvyat, in the final minutes of the session. All drivers were able to continue.

The three teams locked in a fight for third place in the constructors’ championship languished at the bottom of the top 10 and second half of the times. Lance Stroll and Lando Norris were the only drivers for Racing Point, Renault and McLaren to breach the top 10 and the rest were bunched behind them down to Daniel Ricciardo in 15th.

AlphaTauri, who had been front of the midfield this morning, again showed promise by taking sixth and seventh fastest while Ferrari seemed to be more on the pace than usual, Leclerc challenging Verstappen for fastest time during the final fifteen minutes of the session.

Overall, lap times fell by more than five seconds compared to first practice, but remain well shy from the expected times. Contrary to expectations, no one appears to have tackled turn eight flat-out yet.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’28.33037
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’28.7310.40145
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’28.9050.57542
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’29.1800.85039
523Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’29.3631.03342
626Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’29.6891.35943
710Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’29.9441.61443
85Sebastian VettelFerrari1’30.0221.69241
918Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’30.2971.96738
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’30.9072.57739
1111Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’31.1042.77438
1231Esteban OconRenault1’31.3803.05036
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’31.4933.16339
1455Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’31.4983.16840
153Daniel RicciardoRenault1’31.6603.33035
167Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’31.9323.60243
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’32.3023.97239
188Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’32.5704.24033
1920Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’32.8074.47737
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’33.4885.15840

Second practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’28.330

+0.401 Charles Leclerc – 1’28.731

+0.575 Valtteri Bottas – 1’28.905

+0.850 Lewis Hamilton – 1’29.180

+1.033 Alexander Albon – 1’29.363

+1.359 Daniil Kvyat – 1’29.689

+1.614 Pierre Gasly – 1’29.944

+1.692 Sebastian Vettel – 1’30.022

+1.967 Lance Stroll – 1’30.297

+2.577 Lando Norris – 1’30.907

+2.774 Sergio Perez – 1’31.104

+3.050 Esteban Ocon – 1’31.380

+3.163 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’31.493

+3.168 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’31.498

+3.330 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’31.660

+3.602 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’31.932

+3.972 George Russell – 1’32.302

+4.240 Romain Grosjean – 1’32.570

+4.477 Kevin Magnussen – 1’32.807

+5.158 Nicholas Latifi – 1’33.488

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Hazel Southwell
    Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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    16 comments on “Verstappen stays ahead as lap times tumble in second practice”

    1. Was there ever a time in an entire dry race weekend, that the fastest FP1 time had a delta of more than 10 seconds than the fastest qualifying time? Unless track evolves greatly, I don’t see them getting into 1:25’s.

      1. That’s ‘only’ 3 seconds though. If it stays dry, they can definitely find that time IMO. The track will get faster and faster, the more cars go over this new surface. It wouldn’t surprise at all, if they would break into the 1:23s by the end of qualifying.

    2. Cooler weather, to such a degree it could be mirror Nurburgring – means, as Hannibal infamously said “this could be fun!!”

      1. @banbrorace Warmer than Nurburgring, though, and similar air temps to the 2008 and 2011 events in the first half of May.

        1. Forecast is for an temps of no more than 14C, cloudy with chance of some showers. Just as bad is that the wind is from the very cold NE, the predominant direction around this time of year.

          Big difference to May, where the wind direction is from the warmer West and is far more predictable stable weather-wise as they’re only a few weeks away from the summer solstice. Even then we had that light shower in 2010 and then that memorable RB crash

    3. As much as I like watching this Disney in Ice, I’m still expecting a Mercedes to finish P1 on Sunday

      1. Yes, you would expect the track to rubber in and erase any ‘levelling’ effect the current conditions are having.

        For me the interesting part will be qualifying. Could we see a non-Mercedes on pole for (probably) the only time this year?

    4. Mercedes really seem to struggle around here. Their new updated sandbags are costing them quite a lot of laptime.

      1. Nice :-D
        Comment of the day…

      2. Despite the straights, it’s a downforce track where grip is vital – just coming out of Turn 8 fractionally wrong costs you for the rest of the lap

        I think Max could win this one

    5. Ferrari’s in season development seems to be coming together

      1. Only way is up when you are starting from the bottom.

    6. Will be interesting to see tomorrow if it’s Ferrari or just Leclerc

    7. Not Renaults finest day was it…hmm

    Comments are closed.