Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Perez puts Red Bull on top in second practice

2021 United States Grand Prix second practice

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Sergio Perez topped the second practice session for the United States Grand Prix while his team mate had a run-in with his championship rival.

Max Verstappen called Lewis Hamilton a “stupid idiot” after the Mercedes driver overtook him at the final corner while both were preparing to start a flying lap.

Lando Norris took the second-fastest time for McLaren ahead of the Mercedes pair, Hamilton behind Valtteri Bottas.

Several drivers experienced difficulties with traffic but Perez and Norris were able to set clean laps, topping the times. Hamilton would have had the fastest lap of all with a 1:34.842, but it was deleted for a track limits violations at turn 19.

Bottas did six laps on a soft tyre run but was unable to beat the top three times. Daniel Ricciardo, who only ran soft tyres all session, rounded out the top five.

Lance Stroll’s first fast time beat both Ferraris, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr not looking as strong in pace terms as they had in the morning session.

Verstappen’s frustrations continued. He did two out-laps as he tried to begin a performance run, then caught traffic and complained on his radio over the poor timing of the lap. On his way back around the track, Verstappen said that the run was “over” and returned to the Red Bull garage, not to return for another attempt and spending the rest of the session on medium tyre runs.

Antonio Giovinazzi showed that Alfa Romeo’s good performance in first practice was no fluke by placing tenth. But in a strange incident at the end of the session he locked up on his way into the pits and skated across the entrance. “Brakes were too cold,” he explained.

He then had to perform an awkward manoeuvre across the painted section and wait for his engineer to give him the all-cleat before before turning into the pits.

Fernando Alonso spun off at the penultimate turn in the final two minutes of the session and nudged the TecPro barrier with the back end of his car. The Alpine driver was able to return to the pits, gravel pouring out of his car.

Several drivers complained of items coming loose in their cockpits. The first was Norris, who said something was blocking him moving his left arm, preventing him from steering properly. He had to return to the garage after his installation lap.

Leclerc then complained about something loose between the pedals of his Ferrari. Later in the session Esteban Ocon said something was knocking against his lower leg – which Alpine believed to be a piece of padding which had worked loose.

2021 United States Grand Prix second practice result

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda 1’34.946 24
2 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1’35.203 0.257 20
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’35.310 0.364 22
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’35.360 0.414 24
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1’35.457 0.511 21
6 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’35.561 0.615 25
7 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’35.572 0.626 23
8 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’35.824 0.878 23
9 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 1’35.919 0.973 24
10 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’36.138 1.192 26
11 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1’36.158 1.212 23
12 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1’36.242 1.296 25
13 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1’36.376 1.430 18
14 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’36.558 1.612 25
15 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’36.718 1.772 30
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1’36.983 2.037 24
17 47 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1’37.041 2.095 24
18 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1’37.254 2.308 26
19 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’37.490 2.544 21
20 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1’38.026 3.080 23

Second practice visual gaps

Sergio Perez – 1’34.946

+0.257 Lando Norris – 1’35.203

+0.364 Lewis Hamilton – 1’35.310

+0.414 Valtteri Bottas – 1’35.360

+0.511 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’35.457

+0.615 Lance Stroll – 1’35.561

+0.626 Charles Leclerc – 1’35.572

+0.878 Max Verstappen – 1’35.824

+0.973 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’35.919

+1.192 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’36.138

+1.212 Esteban Ocon – 1’36.158

+1.296 Pierre Gasly – 1’36.242

+1.430 Fernando Alonso – 1’36.376

+1.612 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’36.558

+1.772 Sebastian Vettel – 1’36.718

+2.037 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’36.983

+2.095 Mick Schumacher – 1’37.041

+2.308 Nicholas Latifi – 1’37.254

+2.544 George Russell – 1’37.490

+3.080 Nikita Mazepin – 1’38.026

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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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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14 comments on “Perez puts Red Bull on top in second practice”

  1. Sam (@undercut677)
    22nd October 2021, 22:10

    Hamilton’s fastest lap was a 38.8 in FP1 and Max should do better than Checo so this points to another toss up this weekend.

    1. He did a 1:34.919 so a bit quicker than Perez?

      Still, it is a bit silly talks right now though. We have no idea of how much sand they are carrying. We’ll know tomorrow though. Try to ignore comments of the extremists (pro and anti team/driver) and we’ll be alright. I hope it’s a close one. I like the track and would love a fight for the win

      1. Sam (@undercut677)
        22nd October 2021, 22:36

        Sorry, I meant a 34.9 for Hamilton compared to a 34.8 for Perez.

        Even though there is always a risk of sandbagging, the close margin is not only shown by their fastest lap but also their race pace which were all very close between all 4 cars. We’ll see what happens tomorrow but I have always found it unlikely for teams to sandbag through 100% of practice when critical adjustments are needed that can only be made when going close to top speed. In my opinion, the difference seen between practice and the race have more to do with final adjustments before parc ferme than sandbagging during practice (as many viewers like to suggest).

        1. Sam (@undercut677)
          22nd October 2021, 22:37

          Reverse that, 34.8 HAM vs 34.9 PER. My brain stops working late on Friday.

          1. That 34.8 was probably closer to Checo’s 34.9 as Hamilton took extra speed and ran slightly wide. So the margins look tight. The long run pace looks very competitive between them as well. I hope it’s a good race and not just Hamilton dominating like he usually does in the US.

  2. Just like I said after practice one… there’s going to be quite a few people feeing rather silly after their comments earlier today… called it all along, that RedBull is easily the quickest car. It’ll be a 1-2 easily here and in Mexico and Brazil. But hey, it’s only boring to watch when Mercedes dominate isn’t it…

    1. I’ve never got into the mentally that some fans seem to be set in that ‘my driver has the worst car ever’, but can you explain why people who jumped to conclusions after Mercedes showed a huge pace advantage in FP1 would be “feeling rather silly”, but people like yourself are fully justified in drawing conclusions over Redbull’s much smaller pace advantage in FP2? Seems a “rather silly” assumption since Mercedes were clearly the quickest car in the previous three races.

      1. @keithedin the thing is, those same people who overreact so dramatically at the results of FP1 rarely apologise for their exaggerated behaviour afterwards.

        We get a bout of hyperbole about how a team is going to dominate, silence from those posters when the rest of the weekend is closer and then it’s the same bout of hyperbole again from those same individuals when you get another unrepresentative session that yields a larger gap – it’s really tiresome and irritating, and I can understand why some might snap at that sort of hysteria given that it is very rare that those sorts of gaps are replicated later in the weekend.

    2. The irony of this comment lol

    3. I’ve already placed a bet fora Mercedes win this weekend. You’d be foolish to think otherwise. Have the previous 7 seasons taught you nothing about how Mercedes operate throughout the race weekend.

    4. The lack of awareness from this comment is truly comical.

    5. Yeah, blame people for liking RB on top in few races by few tenths up, against a team that has dominated the hybrid era for almost 8 years with gaps of 1 to 1.5 secs between the top teams in some races.

  3. Good to see Danny Ric within a couple tenths of Norris.

  4. So cringe to hear Button flatly denying Hamilton is doing mind games after we all literally minutes before saw Hamilton doing a mind game trick on his championship rival.

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