Lewis Hamilton topped the second practice session at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was in second position, just 0.061 seconds slower than Hamilton.
Pierre Gasly was in third position as he set the third fastest lap on the soft compound tyres.
Both the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers set their fastest time on the medium compound tyres as neither driver could get in a clean lap in the qualification simulations.
The second free practice session at this newly-added race on the Formula 1 calendar at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia took place under the lights in the night session.
The sixty-minute long second free practice session started with air temperatures at 28 degrees C and track temperatures at 30 degrees C..
The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4), the middle range of compounds in the Pirelli tyre range.
Carlos Sainz was the first driver on the track. Lando Norris was fastest in the initial exchanges with a lap time of 1m30.771s on the soft compound tyres.
Verstappen on the medium compound tyres went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m30.104s. Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon slotted into second and third positions behind him.
Even as Verstappen extended his lead at the top, Leclerc in second place improved on his time. Yuki Tsunoda went to the top of the time charts before being quickly displaced by Verstappen.
Bottas went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m29.079s. Hamilton went faster by 0.061 seconds. The Mercedes drivers as in the first practice session took a few laps to get on the pace.
With thirty minutes to go, the drivers started the qualification simulations on the soft compound tyres. Most of the drivers could not get a clean flying lap with traffic hindering them.
Gasly was the first driver to get a clean lap in to slot it into third position behind the Mercedes drivers, just 0.081 seconds behind Hamilton.
Fernando Alonso and Ocon were in fifth and sixth positions behind Verstappen. The Alpine F1 team are in good form for a second race in succession.
With twenty minutes to go, the drivers started the simulations for the long runs. Nikita Mazepin had a spin and brought out the yellow flags briefly. Hamilton had to take quick evasive action to avoid the Haas car.
With five minutes to go, Leclerc had a high-speed crash at Turn 23 and brought out the red flags. The Ferrari mechanics have a long night ahead rebuilding the wrecked car.
The two title contenders are very close in performance with Hamilton having a slight edge over Verstappen. On this street circuit, qualification is all-important and traffic is going to be a big issue for the drivers to get a clean flying lap in.
2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix FP2 Results:
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:29.018||22|
|3||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||AlphaTauri Honda||1:29.099||+0.081s||22|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:29.213||+0.195s||20|
|5||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine Renault||1:29.441||+0.423s||21|
|6||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine Renault||1:29.555||+0.537s||22|
|8||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||AlphaTauri Honda||1:29.597||+0.579s||20|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:29.768||+0.750s||22|
|11||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren Mercedes||1:29.968||+0.950s||22|
|12||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren Mercedes||1:30.004||+0.986s||19|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.110||+1.092s||23|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.276||+1.258s||24|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:30.442||+1.424s||22|
|16||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:30.502||+1.484s||22|
|17||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Mercedes||1:30.506||+1.488s||24|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas Ferrari||1:30.652||+1.634s||20|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Mercedes||1:31.039||+2.021s||23|
|20||9||Nikita Mazepin||RAF||Haas Ferrari||1:31.629||+2.611s||20|