Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Verstappen quickest again, Bottas under investigation for pit lane spin

2021 Styrian Grand Prix second practice

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Max Verstappen remained on top in the second practice session for the Styrian Grand Prix.

However the stewards are investigating a bizarre incident involving Valtteri Bottas, who spun his Mercedes while leaving the pit box. He came to a stop in front of the McLaren pit box.

A group of his rival team’s mechanics helped Bottas continue on his way. But McLaren made it clear to race director Michael Masi they were unimpressed with his driving. “Michael that’s absolutely ridiculous,” said McLaren’s team manager Paul James. “He could have taken our guys out there, and the pit wall.”

After a very strong showing in first practice, when he was second-fastest, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was prevented from running in the afternoon session after Honda spotted a potential problem in the data.

Drivers got their qualifying simulation runs in relatively early in the session, possibly concerned about dropping track temperatures or the arrival of more rain.

Verstappen’s 1’05.412 was comfortably the fastest time, however drivers were generally faster than in the morning session with seven setting times below 1’06.

Among those were both Alpine cars and both McLarens. Sebastian Vettel set the sixth-fastest time for Aston Martin, team mate Stroll just outside a 1’06 by only 0.79 of a second.

Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas ended the second hour some distance back from their team mates. Perez was ninth-fastest and more than half a second slower than Verstappen. Bottas, after his spin, was 12th and more than four tenths of a second off Lewis Hamilton’s time.

Carlos Sainz Jnr had another spin, this time at turn four, having briefly blocked the pit exit in the morning session. Again, he was able to keep going with the session it showed the early, greasy conditions could catch drivers out.

Antonio Giovinazzi had another strong session, finishing 10th-fastest and the top Ferrari-powered car in the times again.

Despite concerns rain would disrupt proceedings, it never fell hard enough to force drives to move from slick tyres to anything else. Track temperatures were similar to those seen in the morning session. At the start of the hour it was 21C air temperature and 41C on the track, just a few degrees lower than in first practice.

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2021 Styrian Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’05.41237
23Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’05.7480.33634
331Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’05.7900.37834
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’05.7960.38434
514Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’05.8270.41538
65Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’05.9340.52237
74Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’05.9940.58239
818Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’06.0790.66736
911Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’06.0890.67736
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’06.1450.73336
1155Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’06.1470.73538
1277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’06.2510.83931
1316Charles LeclercFerrari1’06.2700.85839
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’06.2970.88540
1522Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’06.4511.03939
1663George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’06.6281.21639
1747Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’06.8861.47429
189Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’07.4041.99230
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’07.6692.25732
2010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda0

Second practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’05.412

+0.336 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’05.748

+0.378 Esteban Ocon – 1’05.790

+0.384 Lewis Hamilton – 1’05.796

+0.415 Fernando Alonso – 1’05.827

+0.522 Sebastian Vettel – 1’05.934

+0.582 Lando Norris – 1’05.994

+0.667 Lance Stroll – 1’06.079

+0.677 Sergio Perez – 1’06.089

+0.733 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’06.145

+0.735 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’06.147

+0.839 Valtteri Bottas – 1’06.251

+0.858 Charles Leclerc – 1’06.270

+0.885 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’06.297

+1.039 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’06.451

+1.216 George Russell – 1’06.628

+1.474 Mick Schumacher – 1’06.886

+1.992 Nikita Mazepin – 1’07.404

+2.257 Nicholas Latifi – 1’07.669

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2021 Styrian 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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27 comments on “Verstappen quickest again, Bottas under investigation for pit lane spin”

  1. well, that was weird

  2. In all my years if F1 this is the first time I saw anything like this. Did it ever happen before, just coming out of pits?

    1. I remember Grosjean in Silverstone last year, but that was coming out of the pits

    2. @rockgod I can’t remember anyone ever doing that, no. We had D’Ambrosio who spun while coming in, I can remember some that spun while exiting (when the pits has a bend), but exiting in middle of the pitlane? Nope.

  3. Mercedes was making sure they get a slow pitstop.

    1. They are pretty good at that already, do they really need to do extra practice?

    2. all the teams are trying very hard to improve their 43 hour Monaco record but are still very far behind. Merc always does it best.

  4. Maybe time for an investigation in the tire warming procedure at Mercedes.

    1. Or lack of….

      Are their blankets on?

      Didn’t see the incident but Merc or Bottas need to explain!

  5. The irony: less than 24 hours after the FIA aided Mercedes by introducing new “safety measures” to claw back Red Bull, the whiners of Mercedes cause the most dangerous situation in the pitlane in almost a decade.

    Hey FIA: Citing safety, Mercedes should replace Bottas with Russell.

    1. Ahaha, indeed!

  6. The best camera view was from the cameraman just past the McLaren garage as Bottas comes sideways up the pit lane. Very odd.

  7. Sam Donaldson (ABC News)
    25th June 2021, 15:21

    Second practice visual gaps does not align with practice result table above it!!!

  8. That was an unsettling spin! Could be ugly.

  9. Meanwhile, in the name of wheel nut safety in the pits RBR now needs a wheel gun sensor, while Mercedes has a nut behind the wheel in the pits.

    1. That had me in stitches!

      1. Indeed ‘2021 Styrian Grand Prix second practice result’ timetable was copied from FP1


  10. Ferraris are nowhere. How they end up building such flawed and inconsistent cars each and every year without fail is beyond me.

    1. Their long runs Look a lot more competitive though. I wouldn’t xo

      1. *I wouldn’t count them out yet. They are quicker than practice might suggest.

    2. Schumi_alonso
      26th June 2021, 2:16

      This is starting to look as painful as last year, if not worse.

  11. Mclaren’s mechanics were kind by voluntarily helping Bottas.

  12. They are very consistent at building inconsistentent and flawed cars :)

  13. Somethings not right with the data in this post.
    gasly didn’t even take part in the second practise.

  14. I find it weird that ricciardo gets a mention every time he’s behind Norris. When he’s finally looking a bit more comfortable in the car and puts it p2 it doesn’t rate a mention…

    1. Very weird, this whole article is out of kilter.

    2. Even more weird, I went to BBC for DanR coverage, no mention there either. Was there another loss of internet at RBR during P2 ?
      At least the times have been corrected, but has DR offended the entire press corp ? seems very unlikely. Oh well, off to youtube’s F1 channel.

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