Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Bottas puts Mercedes on top under lights in second practice at Losail

2021 Qatar Grand Prix second practice

Posted on

| Written by

Valtteri Bottas put Mercedes on top of the second practice session for the Qatar Grand Prix, while Pierre Gasly was second-quickest for AlphaTauri once again.

Championship contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were next, the pair separated by less than a tenth of a second.

The second session was held after nightfall, the track fully floodlit and temperatures considerably lower than in the first hour. Traffic remained a problem as drivers cut their lap times, Bottas establishing a new track record with his 1’23.148.

Among the drivers to get in Bottas’ way was his own team mate. Hamilton apologies, saying on the radio he’d tried to get out of the way.

During the subsequent qualifying simulation runs Lando Norris wasn’t warned soon enough by his McLaren pit crew to avoid getting in Nicholas Latifi’s way. Sebastian Vettel was frustrated twice: First by repeat offender Hamilton and later Sergio Perez.

Fernando Alonso at one point commented that the traffic around Losail was so severe that drivers needed to be let out into a clear sector’s-worth of space, in order to avoid getting blocked. Not easy with 20 drivers and just three sectors.

One driver did not participate in the session, leaving only 19 cars circulating: Nikita Mazepin was ruled out due to Haas needing to change the chassis on his car. The switch was caused by damage done to Mazepin’s car during first practice, when several drivers experienced issues after running over kerbs.

Lance Stroll, who did very little running during first practice due to a hydraulic failure, was able to place sixth fastest, Lando Norris. Both Aston Martin cars were in the top ten, Vettel ninth, despite his difficulty in finding space for a clean lap.

Only one each of Ferrari and McLaren’s cars got into the top times, Norris and Carlos Sainz Jnr representing the rivals for third place in the constructors’ title. Meanwhile both AlphaTauris placed well, ahead of Sergio Perez – Yuki Tsunoda boosting the team’s hopes it can pull out a points lead over Alpine this weekend.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Qatar Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’23.14827
210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’23.3570.20927
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’23.4980.35020
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’23.5700.42225
54Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’23.6320.48424
618Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’23.7050.55726
722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’23.7350.58728
811Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’23.7870.63920
95Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’24.0200.87227
1055Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’24.0330.88528
1131Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’24.0410.89329
1214Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’24.0560.90825
1316Charles LeclercFerrari1’24.0950.94723
143Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.1350.98724
157Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’24.6311.48326
1663George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’24.9541.80627
1799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’25.0721.92423
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’25.2092.06128
1947Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’25.5752.42727
209Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari0

Second practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’23.148

+0.209 Pierre Gasly – 1’23.357

+0.350 Max Verstappen – 1’23.498

+0.422 Lewis Hamilton – 1’23.570

+0.484 Lando Norris – 1’23.632

+0.557 Lance Stroll – 1’23.705

+0.587 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’23.735

+0.639 Sergio Perez – 1’23.787

+0.872 Sebastian Vettel – 1’24.020

+0.885 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’24.033

+0.893 Esteban Ocon – 1’24.041

+0.908 Fernando Alonso – 1’24.056

+0.947 Charles Leclerc – 1’24.095

+0.987 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’24.135

+1.483 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’24.631

+1.806 George Russell – 1’24.954

+1.924 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’25.072

+2.061 Nicholas Latifi – 1’25.209

+2.427 Mick Schumacher – 1’25.575

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Qatar Grand Prix articles

Author information

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

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

11 comments on “Bottas puts Mercedes on top under lights in second practice at Losail”

  1. Track is so filthy I feel like the last rbr or Mercedes over the line in q3 takes pole.

  2. Once again it looks very close between Mercedes and RB. Hamilton and Verstappen were doing almost identical lap times on their long runs on the Softs (low 1:28s), while Bottas was even getting into the high 1:27s on the Mediums on his final two laps.
    Perez had a poor start to the weekend. He needs to find more time on short and long runs to support Verstappen, because Bottas looks the quickest out of all of them so far.

    Behind them it’s gonna be an ever tighter fight between Ferrari, McLaren, Alpine, Alpha Tauri and possibly Aston Martin.
    Alpha Tauri were certainly showboating on the short runs, because they were nowhere near as fast on their long runs (especially not Tsunoda) as they were on their qualy sims.
    Ocon’s long run on the Softs was very impressive, lapping consistently in the high 1:28s and also Alonso with very low 1:29s on the Mediums did a pretty good job.
    Q2 is going to be insane in the midfield! You could easily see a McLaren or Ferrari drop out in Q2, if they don’t get everything out of their car.

    Alfa Romeo and Williams are about 0.5 sec too slow to fight for points around here, judging by their long run pace and Haas are where they were most of the times this season, far too slow (1 sec at least) to fight with the other teams.

  3. Was Hamilton using the Brazil engine, or an older one?

    1. He was using an older engine today. His rocket-engine is spared for quali and the race.

      1. Just guessing it is packed-away in a pile of sand-bags.

      2. Excellent!

  4. Where are the “Red Bull is faster, championship is over” folks again? And where they had been after years of Mercedes domination?

  5. Let’s go Yuki don’t screw it up this time, your team needs you. I find that Hamilton deserves the WDC more than Verstappen since he has been driving a lot cleaner…

    1. How easily people forget what has happened earlier this season. At silverstone Hamilton crashed in to Verstappen and then went on to win the race! We are talking about 25 points for Ham and 0 for Ver. At least at interlagos we had a fair result in the end.

  6. I think Verstappen and Hamilton will both qualify for the tow. Its a long stright so both drivers will figure on getting a tow from whomever gets pole. Bottas seems to be the obliging candidate..

    1. I doubt that, considering the distance from pole to T1 is just about 370 m.

Comments are closed.