Turkish GP: Lewis Hamilton ahead of Charles Leclerc in Practice Two as Max Verstappen struggles – Sky Sports

Lewis Hamilton tops both P1 and P2 on dominant Friday; Charles Leclerc 0.166s off Hamilton in second, Max Verstappen 0.635s off the pace in fifth; Hamilton has 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Turkish GP

Last Updated: 08/10/21 2:31pm

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets ahead of Charles Leclerc in Practice Two to round off a dominant Friday at the Turkish GP, as title rival Max Verstappen struggled down in fifth in the Red Bull.

On a day where the momentum looked likely to swing towards Verstappen with Hamilton’s 10-place grid penalty for Sunday confirmed, the Dutchman could not find car balance or pace around the tricky Istanbul Park while championship leader Hamilton looked in control throughout.

In second practice, Hamilton followed up his comfortable advantage in P1 with another fastest time and track record, a 1:23.804 on the soft tyres, some six tenths of a second quicker than Verstappen.

Hamilton was, however, challenged very closely by Leclerc.

The Monegasque driver was just a tenth off the pace as he enjoyed a surprisingly mighty Friday in the Ferrari, who had by far and away the most competitive midfield car to start the weekend.

Nicholas Latifi spins at Turn Nine in the Williams during second practice ahead of the Turkish GP

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Nicholas Latifi spins at Turn Nine in the Williams during second practice ahead of the Turkish GP

Nicholas Latifi spins at Turn Nine in the Williams during second practice ahead of the Turkish GP

Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes, leaving the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Verstappen fourth and fifth on a disappointing day for the title challengers.

Perez and Verstappen were both over half a second slower than Hamilton, who also appeared to have faster long-run pace.

“Looking ahead to Sunday, that bodes very well for Lewis Hamilton,” said Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz, with Hamilton facing a recovery mission with his 10-place grid penalty for that new Mercedes engine.

Many drivers struggled to keep control of their cars in a Practice Two session that was made trickier by strong gusts of wind. Nicholas Latifi was one of the drivers to spin, while Lando Norris also ran wide on one of his qualy sim laps.

Norris still finished a competitive sixth at the end of P2, though, ahead of the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.

Norris’ McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was only 14th.

Pierre Gasly complained of understeer through the session, which he finished ninth, while Antonio Giovinazzi rounded off the top-10 in the Alfa Romeo.

Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel were only 13th and 16th for Aston Martin, who could follow Mercedes and Ferraris’ lead with Hamilton and Carlos Sainz by taking an engine penalty this weekend.

More to follow.

Turkish GP Practice Two Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.804
2) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.166
3) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.410
4) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.569
5) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.635
6) Lando Norris McLaren +0.721
7) Fernando Alonso Alpine +0.856
8) Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.868
9) Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +0.952
10) Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +0.992
11) Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1.078
12) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +1.099
13) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1.216
14) Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1.256
15) Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1.339
16) Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +1.425
17) Nicholas Latifi Williams +1.503
18) George Russell Williams +1.554
19) Mick Schumacher Haas +1.676
20) Nikita Mazepin Haas +1.894
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