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Bottas investigated for pit lane spin as Verstappen sweeps Friday practice

Bottas investigated for pit lane spin as Verstappen sweeps Friday practice

F1 News

Bottas investigated for pit lane spin as Verstappen sweeps Friday practice

Bottas investigated for pit lane spin as Verstappen sweeps Friday practice

Max Verstappen doubled up in Friday practice as F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton fell foul of track limits ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix while Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a bizarre pit lane spin.

After finishing quickest in FP1 - and no driver who has done so this season has gone on to win a race - championship leader Verstappen shaved half a second off his time in that session to finish quickest in FP2.

Verstappen posted a time in his Red Bull of one minute 05.412secs to finish 0.336s ahead of surprise package Daniel Ricciardo in his McLaren.

Moments before Verstappen had clocked what proved to be the best time just after the half-hour mark of the hour-long session, Hamilton had set what would have been the fastest lap.

The seven-time F1 champion, however, had the lap deleted for exceeding track limits at the high-speed final turn 10, one of three overall in the session, leaving him down in fourth place behind Alpine's Esteban Ocon.

Bottas, meanwhile, was a lowly 12th, 0.839s adrift, but is under investigation by the FIA stewards for a spin as he pulled out of his pit box 15 minutes from the end.

After a set of hard tyres was fitted, Bottas sped away but lost the rear of his car, just avoiding the pit wall and coming to rest the other side of McLaren's pit crew.

While the McLaren team were kind enough to roll Bottas back into a position to get going, the team, however, made a complaint to FIA race director Michael Masi about the dangerous element of what had just unfolded.

The session had started with an 80 per cent chance of rain that never materialised other than a few drops in the opening minutes.

Nevertheless, it led to slightly tricky conditions, notably at the sharp turn three right-hander where Verstappen and Hamilton both ran wide on a couple of occasions on the hard tyres.

With dark clouds hovering, the switch to soft rubber arrived quicker than expected, with the lead changing hands numerous times as first Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, then Hamilton, then Ocon all went fastest.

Hamilton then did momentarily reclaim top spot by four-tenths of a second only for that time to be deleted, with Verstappen ultimately going top seconds later.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso finished fifth quickest ahead of Vettel and McLaren's Lando Norris, the latter duo just over half-a-second back.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez in his Red Bull and Antonio Giovinazzi in his Alfa Romeo completed the top 10, with the Italian 0.733s adrift.

Carlos Sainz, who suffered a spin early on, was down in 11th, with team-mate Charles Leclerc 13th, the Ferrari duo either side of Bottas. Pierre Gasly, who had finished FP1 second quickest to Verstappen, sat out the entire session due to the discovery of a sensor issue with the AlphaTauri's Honda power unit.

Styrian Grand Prix second practice results

1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] 1:05.412

2. Daniel Ricciardo [McLaren] +0.336s

3. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] +0.378s

4. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] +0.384s

5. Fernando Alonso [Alpine] +0.415s

6. Sebastian Vettel [Aston Martin] +0.522s

7. Lando Norris [McLaren] +0.582s

8. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] +0.667s

9. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] +0.677s

10. Antonio Giovinazzi [Alfa Romeo] +0.733s

11. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +0.735s

12. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes] +0.839s

13. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +0.858s

14. Kimi Raikkonen [Alfa Romeo] +0.885s

15. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +1.039s

16. George Russell [Williams] +1.216s

17. Mick Schumacher [Haas] +1.474s

18. Nikita Mazepin [Haas] +1.992s

19. Nicholas Latifi [Williams] +2.257s

20. Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] no time

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