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Bottas heads tight squeeze FP2 after Hulkenberg smash

Bottas heads tight squeeze FP2 after Hulkenberg smash

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Bottas heads tight squeeze FP2 after Hulkenberg smash

Bottas heads tight squeeze FP2 after Hulkenberg smash

Valtteri Bottas ran quickest in the second free practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, just three thousandths of a second faster than Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, with Sebastian Vettel also in close attention as things continue to look increasingly tight between the front-runners at Interlagos.

Red Bull had also been in the mix in an FP1 topped by Max Verstappen, but the Dutchman sat out half of the session due to an oil leak that team principal Christian Horner revealed had been traced back to his Mexican GP victory last time out.

Verstappen was still fifth-fastest in FP2, managing to make it on-track for crucial long-run practice which suggested that there will be little to choose between Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari in Sunday's race.

Qualifying also looks set to be incredible tight with the top six separated by just three tenths.

Right-rear tyres were under close inspection during long runs – Vettel among those to pick up severe blistering around the anti-clockwise Sao Paulo circuit.

The early part of the session was punctuated by Nico Hulkenberg crashing at the final corner, dipping his wheels onto the grass before whipping into the barriers, smashing the entire right-hand side of his Renault and losing pretty much the entire session.

Haas continued to display impressive pace, with Romain Grosjean the best of the rest behind the big three teams in both FP1 and FP2.

It may boost the American team's hopes of catching Renault in the constructors' championship – they sit 30 points adrift of Renault with just two races remaining so must bank big points in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

MORE: Hulkenberg smashes into barriers in huge FP2 crash
LISTEN: Vettel's dirty 'cockpit' joke

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