Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Istanbul Park, 2021

Hamilton stays on top in second practice at Istanbul

2021 Turkish Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time again in the second practice, leading Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the day’s running came to an end.

Compared to the incident-free first practice session, the afternoon’s running was a livelier affair, several drivers spinning or suffering off-track excursions.

Nicholas Latifi was the first, spinning at turn nine, before Nikita Mazepin went off track at turn one. Lando Norris continued straight on between turns nine and ten on his first hot-lap and was followed shortly after by Yuki Tsunoda doing the same.

Valtteri Bottas also went off at turn one while Max Verstappen – having a somewhat messy session during which he repeatedly complained about car balance – spun on track at turn seven. Pierre Gasly rounded out the hour by spinning at turn six after repeated radio messages that something was not right with his car’s steering. At one point he suggested his “arms are too short for the steering wheel”.

Hamilton was comfortably the fastest all session, while Leclerc was consistently second to him and the only other driver to set a lap time under the 1’24 mark. Sergio Perez, who had struggled in the morning session and finished fairly distant, was faster than Verstappen on their qualifying simulation runs this afternoon.

Both Alpine drivers were again able to get into the top ten of times and Gasly and Norris repeated their usual showings in practice standings. However, Carlos Sainz Jnr was unable to match his Ferrari team mate – finishing twelfth-fastest and behind Antonio Giovinazzi, who was tenth.

An infuriated Kimi Raikkonen reported problems with his drinks system, not for the first time this year, which was leaking both within his helmet and onto his feet.

Esteban Ocon had a strange incident at the end of practice where his car stopped on the grid while preparing to do a practice start from the pole position slot.

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2021 Turkish Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’23.80429
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’23.9700.16628
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’24.2140.41030
411Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’24.3730.56927
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’24.4390.63526
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.5250.72123
714Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’24.6600.85620
831Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’24.6720.86825
910Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’24.7560.95231
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’24.7960.99228
1122Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’24.8821.07829
1255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’24.9031.09934
1318Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’25.0201.21630
143Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’25.0601.25622
157Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’25.1431.33926
165Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’25.2291.42529
176Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’25.3071.50329
1863George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’25.3581.55428
1947Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’25.4801.67625
209Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’25.6981.89425

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’23.804

+0.166 Charles Leclerc – 1’23.970

+0.410 Valtteri Bottas – 1’24.214

+0.569 Sergio Perez – 1’24.373

+0.635 Max Verstappen – 1’24.439

+0.721 Lando Norris – 1’24.525

+0.856 Fernando Alonso – 1’24.660

+0.868 Esteban Ocon – 1’24.672

+0.952 Pierre Gasly – 1’24.756

+0.992 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’24.796

+1.078 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’24.882

+1.099 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’24.903

+1.216 Lance Stroll – 1’25.020

+1.256 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’25.060

+1.339 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’25.143

+1.425 Sebastian Vettel – 1’25.229

+1.503 Nicholas Latifi – 1’25.307

+1.554 George Russell – 1’25.358

+1.676 Mick Schumacher – 1’25.480

+1.894 Nikita Mazepin – 1’25.698

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2021 Turkish 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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18 comments on “Hamilton stays on top in second practice at Istanbul”

  1. That’s a pretty tightly packed field! Lewis may have problems recovering lots of places in the race.

    1. @harrydymond Only a practice session, so too early for definitive conclusions.

    2. @harrydymond
      It depends on which tires the midfield teams will start the race (if qualy was to be dry).
      If they have to start on softs, Hamilton will just breeze past them within a couple of laps. If qualy is wet and they have free choice of tires for the race, Hamilton might struggle to get by some of them (especially the McLarens), if he’s caught in a DRS-train.
      Still, Hamilton should clear the whole pack and finish P4 or P5 at least.

  2. Merc so dominant in long run pace. Consistent 27.7s while RB was doing 28.2.

    Ever since Silverstone update the Merc has the racepace advantage. On some circuits not enough to overtake though (monza, Zandvoort).

    1. @trib4udi Not just long runs, Mercedes were decisively quicker in dry qualifying sessions in Silverstone, Hungary, and Monza. Since Austria, Red Bull has only really been quicker in Zandvoort.

      1. RB was probably only quicker in qualifying in Zandvoort. Lewis could stay so close during the race.
        Strategy and a slow pitstop denied Lewis a win.

        If you think about it, it’s freaky how Merc didn’t monetize its pace advantage over the past 4 races. Spa would have been a Merc win, and so should monza.

    2. @trib4udi – Most drivers gained a lot of time between FP1 and FP2 but Verstappen didn’t which suggests to me that something’s going on… Maybe they’ve just got everything dialled back to protect the engine or maybe they’ve got a bit of work to do on the setup?

      The fact that Perez is up in 4th says to me that Red Bull are reasonably quick here so I’m expecting a fight for “pole” between Hamilton and Verstappen again (and maybe Bottas as he has a real chance of winning this one – can’t let Lewis by if Verstappen is between them).

      1. Curse of the one-off livery. prolly.

      2. @petebaldwin
        Right before FP2 Helmut Marko was saying that they underestimated the improved grip of the surface and that caused some balance problems in FP1. Considering it didn’t get any better for them in FP2, they either went in the wrong direction on their set ups or they are just generally off the pace this weekend.

        I doubt Max can do anything about Hamilton in qualifying (in dry conditions) and has to make sure not to start behind Bottas and also Leclerc. That Ferrari has very good single lap pace, just suffers from graining over a longer run.

    3. of course that has nothing to do with the new tyre construction Pirelli introduced…. You’ve got to love the mid-season tyre changes that for some reason always suits the Mercs more then other teams.

    4. @trib4udi

      Merc so dominant in long run pace. Consistent 27.7s while RB was doing 28.2.

      Back to the old half a second advantage of previous years.

      Reply moderated
  3. That was a pretty interesting and insightful session.

    – Mercedes clearly on top, especially Hamilton. They are fastest on both, long and short runs.
    – So far RB is somewhat off the pace, definitely not fast enough to take the win on merrit.
    – Leclerc’s strong single lap pace is a little bit of a false hope, because he was chewing up his tires on the long runs. If Ferrari can improve the tire wear a bit, they might spoil RB’s race on Sunday.
    – McLaren are a little bit hard to judge, because they didn’t do a competitive long run (too few laps). They are either fighting with Ferrari or the likes of Alpine, Aston Martin, Gasly and Russell. If Ferrari hit tire problems on Sunday, McLaren are definitely in striking distance to capitalize on that.
    – Alpha Tauri (Gasly), Aston Martin and Williams (Russell) seem to be very closely matched. Whoever makes the fewest errors will come out on top in this group.
    – Alfa Romeo are in no man’s land between the midfield and Haas. A little bit too slow for the top 10, but comfortably faster than Haas.
    – Other than Schumacher being consistently faster than Mazepin (about 0.3 on average), there is nothing new to report.

    1. How long longer do you think the Merc PR team can spin that RB have the fastest car?
      It’s starting to look like a running joke

      1. Yes, I think across the season now mercedes had the best car in both quali and race, they just made a lot of mistakes for it to be this close, and had luck too.

      2. Ever since Mercedes brought that upgrade in Silverstone, they have been quicker than RB. Not so much on single lap pace, but their race pace has improved massively.
        Hamilton has a faster car now on average (except Mexico and possibly Brazil, because of the high altitude) and has a better chance at winning the title, in theory.
        I hope Max’s blown tire in Baku won’t cost him the title!

  4. Kimi and his drink. My goodness.

    I am surprised red bull marketing team haven’t used this Kimi and his drink in a meme / viral Post / marketing stunt yet.

    1. indeed, heh

      Reply moderated
  5. Looks like a wet qualifying, should be good.

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