Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in second practice at Hungaroring

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix second practice

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Valtteri Bottas narrowly out-paced team mate Lewis Hamilton to lead the second practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The two W12s were separated by just 27 thousandths of a second at the top of the times. Max Verstappen was third, almost three-tenths of a second slower. All of the top times were set on soft tyres.

As track temperatures soared beyond 60C, Mercedes led the session almost from the start, while both Red Bull drivers complained about understeer. At the halfway point Verstappen said his car was “so understeer-y it’s incredible.”

Whatever fix Red Bull applied didn’t seem to work as Verstappen was again reporting serious understeer in the last 10 minutes of the session. He said the car felt “completely broken” and that “all the time when I try to turn in I’m losing the rear.”

Second-fastest driver Hamilton also struggled with understeer. In the last six minutes of the session he had a major snap through turn 11, taking to the run-off area. He told the Mercedes pit wall the “rear end just gave up,” and asked if he had damage to the left rear. The team allowed him to continue to the end of the session but without setting any improved times.

At halfway point in the running, Sebastian Vettel was second-fastest, and although he finished eighth he seemed happy with the Aston Martin car throughout. Esteban Ocon, after being out-paced by team mate Fernando Alonso in the morning session, took the upper hand this afternoon by splitting the Red Bull cars to take a strong fourth.

Ferrari had a good session this morning, with Carlos Sainz Jnr placing fourth, but neither driver ended the afternoon’s running in the top 10. Sainz reported on the radio they were also struggling with tyres – possibly a consequence of the track temperatures, which rose from from 53C to 63C.

Yuki Tsunoda did no running during the vast majority of the session, due to a crash in first practice that had substantially damaged the rear of his car. He did get sent out in the final minutes to shake down his repaired AlphaTauri.

Nikita Mazepin, last on the times sheets, reported a strange problem in the final moments of second practice. he told his Haas engineer “my feet are massively burning on the left side, so let’s have a look at what we can do because otherwise the race will be a disaster.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.01229
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’17.0390.02727
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.3100.29824
431Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’17.7590.74729
511Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’17.8240.81223
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.1131.10131
714Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’18.1691.15727
85Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.2281.21631
94Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.3131.30125
1018Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.3201.30830
1116Charles LeclercFerrari1’18.3701.35830
1255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’18.4411.42932
133Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.7371.72526
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’19.2772.26521
1563George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’19.2922.28029
166Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’19.4792.46730
1722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’19.6712.6593
1847Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’19.8172.80529
1999Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.1863.17428
209Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’21.8814.86928

Second practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’17.012

+0.027 Lewis Hamilton – 1’17.039

+0.298 Max Verstappen – 1’17.310

+0.747 Esteban Ocon – 1’17.759

+0.812 Sergio Perez – 1’17.824

+1.101 Pierre Gasly – 1’18.113

+1.157 Fernando Alonso – 1’18.169

+1.216 Sebastian Vettel – 1’18.228

+1.301 Lando Norris – 1’18.313

+1.308 Lance Stroll – 1’18.320

+1.358 Charles Leclerc – 1’18.370

+1.429 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’18.441

+1.725 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’18.737

+2.265 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’19.277

+2.280 George Russell – 1’19.292

+2.467 Nicholas Latifi – 1’19.479

+2.659 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’19.671

+2.805 Mick Schumacher – 1’19.817

+3.174 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’20.186

+4.869 Nikita Mazepin – 1’21.881

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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39 comments on “Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in second practice at Hungaroring”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    30th July 2021, 15:13

    I would imagine Red Bull ran that engine in VES’ car slightly below the absolute limit, but still: 0.3 seconds on such a short lap seems a bit much to overcome, even if there’s the understeer problem (again) to overcome. And overtaking on this track is near impossible. Will be interesting to see how this pans out tomorrow!

    1. Well, this is just practice, I don’t believe it’s representative, even fp3 is usually not very reliable.

      1. The first representative laps of a weekend tend to be whichever qualifying session the team think they may not easily cruise through – though q2 is odd because they have to balance their starting tyres with pure pace

      2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        30th July 2021, 15:30

        The FP2 race-sims seem to be quite on point (from a certain German Auto und Motorsport site).
        I do however believe that this year teams have become a lot better in fixing issues (or fake issues in some cases it seems) during the night from friday to saturday: big problems on friday and then like a magic spell no issues on saturday.

    2. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
      30th July 2021, 16:28

      Overtaking shouldn’t be a concern now that the stewards have ok’d putting your opponent in the wall.

      1. Ahah, true, also hungary in recent years tends to give more overtaking opportunities, it’s no longer monaco-like.

      2. You’re talking as if Lewis did it on purpose,,but why,,when he could have broken his suspension,or got a puncture himself,leading to a dnf…how would that have helped him,when he was 33 points behind…that matter is over and done with now,so stop going on about it.

        1. He had some experience with his Hamilton move. Tried it with success multiple times on albon.
          So the chances your damage is greater are slim.
          The best result when you put your opponent in the wall at high speed.
          Only 10s penalty and almost guaranteed win.
          /f1trollosaurus mode

          1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            30th July 2021, 17:26

            Lewis’s front left wheel rim was cracked. He would have had to make an extra pitstop. No way he risks that on purpose. Lewis drives a risk averse race strategy. That’s why he backed out when he was on the outside at Copse in the sprint race. Max should have made the same choice, he would have at least 18 more points. Instead, he took a risk and lost the lot. Live and learn!

          2. erikje, are you still stating Hamilton did it on purpose when even Horner backed out of that corner ? How is your tin foil hat?

      3. As Horner said in Spain, they always have the choice of getting out of the way. Or have you changed your opinion about that since Silverstone?

      4. The gods have also ok’d drivers taking themselves out of the race without suffering injuries. Game on then!

  2. Can we finally now all agree that Mercedes still have the quickest car.

    1. A single swallow does not a summer make.

    2. No. Horner just said RBR had the quickest car in Silverstone. Not yet time to go back to the “it’s the car and Bottas is just slow” talking points.

    3. More importantly, can we all agree to wait until quali before overreacting?

    4. cAn We FiNaLlY nOw AlL aGrEe ThAt MeRcEdEs StIlL hAvE tHe QuIcKeSt CaR.

      No. Wait, did you say “Suckers”?

      1. I can’t quite understand what you’re getting at so I’ll just assume you agree with my point.

        1. You’re not him, I assume?

        2. I can’t qUitE undERsTaND WHaT yoU’Re gettIng at sO i’LL JUst aSsUMe YOU AGREe with mY PoinT.

          You seriously don’t? The other lowercase alex enemy is a dangerous enemy. He’s wanted by the police.

    5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      30th July 2021, 16:22

      Can we all now confirm that Ocon will finish 4th? No. It is just 1 session….

    6. Redbull had won 4 races in a row before Silverstone,and they won the sprint race,and yet you claim Merc STILL have the quickest car.

      1. Those races were expected to favour red bull, however silverstone was a mercedes stronghold and red bull looked competitive, so never say never unless mercedes simply outdevelop them.

      2. That is because they have the best driver. Mercedes still has the fastest car

        1. Shame their best driver is unable to cope with the kind of pressure he puts on others…

        2. Hamilton wins = it’s the car, Bottas is mediocre at best
          Verstappen wins = it’s the driver, Perez is a solid journeyman

          How do we solve for these two variables at once?

    7. Given this is the first day, the conditions were extraordinary and Max could not find a balance, I don’t see why we can’t collude with you in the pretence that that proves Mercedes has the quickest car. If it makes you and a few others feel better; why not?
      After all we have spent all season going along with the pretence that Perez is getting everything out of that car and that’s its true pace.

      1. He’s the same enemy who hates George Russell.

  3. Lewisham Milton
    30th July 2021, 15:50

    Don’t worry, Nikita.
    The race will be a disaster anyway.

  4. Well, business as usual. Looking at Perez the Mercedes dominance is still there. Hopefully Max can make it a bit interesting this weekend.

    1. Obviously practice times don’t say much, he’s not that slow, but even just 5 tenths off verstappen he has no chance to beat any of the mercedes in quali.

    2. Hungary, like Silverstone is a front limited circuit. Although it is a gross simplification of a complex situation in 2021 Mercedes have been able to challenge Red Bull at more front limited circuits (Silverstone and Hungary are front limited) where they are struggling is circuits that are more rear limited which is no surprise given the issues they have had with the rear floor aero revisions for this season.

  5. Any news/data on long run pace by the way?

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      30th July 2021, 16:48

      Was watching the sector times on the F1 app. Mercedes had an advantage in all 3 but Redbull are still chasing set up so could be close.

      1. Other news outlets, obviously less thorough than this one, and showing no data, are reporting Mercedes had “substantially” better race pace. Usually it’s been Mercedes chasing the set up on Friday and just pulling it together on Saturday, or not really. Both teams seem to struggling with see-saw balance at the end of the lap.

  6. What was going on with Giovinazzi? (I know Kubica was faster in FP1, and that GIO had some reliability issues then, did that continue?). Midfield again quite close here, so will depend on who gets a good lap, keeps tyres alive for the duration of quali I guess; and maybe Red Bull can solve enough of what’s doing them in to make it competitive. Or Bottas pole?

  7. Nice one Mick, I think this track will suit his driving style.

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