German GP: Leclerc quickest in FP2 as Gasly crashes

Charles Leclerc edged out his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel as Mercedes came up short on single-lap pace in second practice for the Formula 1 German Grand Prix.

German GP: Leclerc quickest in FP2 as Gasly crashes

Leclerc's 1m13.449s lap, set on soft tyres during a qualifying simulation run mid-session, was 0.124s faster than Vettel's best, with Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes just 0.22s further adrift.

In a session that may well prove redundant if the weather changes as dramatically as expected on Sunday, Hockenheim sweltered in ambient temperatures ranging up to 37C and the surface temperature of the track itself spiked to 51C.

Rapid tyre degradation therefore became an issue as several teams spent the early phase of the session experimenting with shorter runs on tyres at the harder end of the spectrum.

Read Also:

Single-lap pace was proving tricky to unlock since the tyres required delicate management before, during and after any 'push' laps; drivers migrating to the soft tyres later in the session found they had to run up to two achingly slow cool-down laps between faster efforts.

Ferrari went straight back to the top of the timesheets early on as Leclerc - despite a brief complaint about the positioning of his brake pedal - set an initial benchmark of 1m14.523s on the hard-compound Pirellis, eclipsing a 1m14.804s set by Vettel on mediums.

But when the Mercedes emerged, Hamilton displaced them with a 1m14.074s set on mediums, followed by a 1m14.467s for hard-shod Valtteri Bottas.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen also got between the Ferraris during the opening half hour until Vettel bolted on a set of soft tyres and broke through the 1m14 barrier, clocking up a 1m13.573s which was rapidly eclipsed by Leclerc's soft-shod riposte of 1m13.449s.

Verstappen couldn't get as close to the Ferraris when he took on soft rubber, although he reported a power issue that required examination in the pits.

His teammate Pierre Gasly proved unable to summon a properly fast lap from the softs and his best of 1m15.089s left him well outside the top 10.

When Hamilton and Bottas moved on to the softer rubber they fell just short of the Ferraris on their first attempts at 'push' laps, and Hamilton bailed out of a second flier when it became apparent there wouldn't be a decent time at the end of it. Bottas's best was 0.662s off Leclerc's benchmark.

Vettel then went back out on medium tyres for a long run but aborted that after just four timed laps, saying, "We're not learning anything from this."

He then joined the rest of the frontrunners in doing race-simulation runs on the soft rubber; for the majority of the top 10 this entailed circulating at 6s a lap off qualifying pace.

The session was briefly red-flagged with 16 minutes remaining when Gasly looped his Red Bull under acceleration out of the final bend and speared into the barriers hard enough to trigger a deployment of the medical car.

It restarted with nine minutes left on the clock, enough to allow a flurry of track activity that yielded little in the way of laptime improvement since most of the runners bar Vettel were out on medium or hard tyres.

Verstappen ended the session in sixth, two hundredths shy of Bottas, while Romain Grosjean was 'best of the rest' for Haas with a 1m14.179s he set mid-session during a qualifying run on softs.

Just behind Grosjean, Racing Point's Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen also cracked the top 10 with their qualifying-simulation efforts on the soft tyres.

Nico Hulkenberg was the fastest of the Renault pairing with a 1m14.472s set on soft rubber midway through the session, but he was then left stranded in the pitlane when his car stuck in neutral as he lined up to perform a practice start.

Teammate Daniel Ricciardo had an eventful session, locking up and going off at Turn 2 early on while running on the mediums.

His soft-tyre qualifying simulation of 1m15.010 left him separated from Hulkenberg by Sergio Perez's Racing Point, the McLaren of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 33 1'13.449
2 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 30 1'13.573 0.124
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 30 1'13.595 0.146
4 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 30 1'14.111 0.662
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 23 1'14.133 0.684
6 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 33 1'14.179 0.730
7 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 32 1'14.268 0.819
8 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 33 1'14.458 1.009
9 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 26 1'14.472 1.023
10 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 30 1'14.518 1.069
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 34 1'14.662 1.213
12 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 39 1'14.800 1.351
13 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 33 1'15.010 1.561
14 Thailand Alex Albon
Toro Rosso 36 1'15.062 1.613
15 France Pierre Gasly
Red Bull 19 1'15.089 1.640
16 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 29 1'15.247 1.798
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 31 1'15.406 1.957
18 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 28 1'15.470 2.021
19 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 27 1'16.900 3.451
20 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams 26 1'16.980 3.531
shares
comments
Norris says McLaren still needs to step up its game

Previous article

Norris says McLaren still needs to step up its game

Next article

Stroll enjoying updated "diet" Racing Point car

Stroll enjoying updated "diet" Racing Point car
Load comments
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021