FP2: Leclerc on top in chaotic, red-flagged session

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped a chaotic FP2 session in Austria with Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas both crashing out at the Red Bull Ring.

Verstappen sparked a series of unfortunate events on a hot, blustery afternoon in Spielberg after losing all control at the high-speed Turn 10 and caused big damage to the rear of his RB15.

No sooner had the clean-up and recovery mission been completed, the red flags were out again as Bottas was the next to be punished for a mistake at Turn 6. The impact with the barriers was a big one: 25g.

Thankfully both Verstappen and Bottas were given the all-clear, but big repair jobs now await the mechanics in the respective Red Bull and Mercedes garages.

Sebastian Vettel almost suffered a carbon-copy crash as Verstappen moments later, but just about avoided contact with the barrier by the skin of his teeth.

The three big incidents heavily disrupted the qualifying simulation runs, with Leclerc the tentative pace setter by recording a 1:05.086.

Bottas, three tenths behind in P2, Lewis Hamilton in P4, Vettel, P8, and Verstappen, P9, were all unable to put a qualifying sim hot lap on the board.

That allowed Gasly to complete the top three.

The aggressive, merciless sausage kerbs at the Red Bull Ring sent repair bills soaring in first practice and it did not take long for before more damage was done in FP2. Lance Stroll feeling the full effect of how costly a slight misjudgment can be.

A closer look at that damage to Stroll's front wing ?#AustrianGP ?? #F1 pic.twitter.com/CovvVKP792

— Formula 1 (@F1) June 28, 2019

Turn 10 was also proving to be a little problematic for both Mercedes cars on their opening laps of second practice, but both Hamilton and Bottas managed to escape without any lasting damage…for now.

30 minutes into FP2, it was Bottas leading the way at the top of the timesheets with a 1:05.417 – a tenth quicker than Hamilton and Leclerc. The qualifying simulation runs still to come…

Just as they were about to get into full flow, Verstappen brought out the red flags with a big shunt into the barriers at..you guessed it, Turn 10.

And, mere minutes after the track got the green flags again. Bottas was into the barriers at Turn 6 with another big crash.  Thankfully both drivers are ok.

? RED FLAG ?

Now Bottas goes into the barriers – this time it's Turn 6 #AustrianGP ?? #F1 pic.twitter.com/xhpm2u8l0A

— Formula 1 (@F1) June 28, 2019

So a Mercedes driver out, a Red Bull driver out and then almost a Ferrari driver followed as Vettel also lost all control at Turn 10.

Fortunately for Vettel, he was able to escape a big collision with the barriers unlike Verstappen and Bottas.

It was a case of calm coming after the storm in the final 30 minutes of the session. Carlos Sainz the only other driver forced to go through gravel trap during his race simulation run.

FP2 timesheet:

1Charles LeclercFerrari1:05.086
2Valtteri BottasMercedes0.331s
3Pierre GaslyRed Bull0.401s
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes0.443s
5Carlos SainzMcLaren0.459s
6Romain GrosjeanHaas0.615s
7Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo Racing0.642s
8Sebastian VettelFerrari0.785s
9Max VerstappenRed Bull0.793s
10Lando NorrisMcLaren0.866s
11Kevin MagnussenHaas0.874s
12Sergio PerezRacing Point0.878s
13Alex AlbonToro Rosso0.978s
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing1.033s
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1.062s
16Nico HulkenbergRenault1.163s
17Daniel RicciardoRenault1.332s
18Lance StrollRacing Point1.743s
19George RussellWilliams2.131s
20Robert KubicaWilliams3.422s

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