Hockenheim FP2: Verstappen tops as Red Bull own day one

Max Verstappen topped the timing screens at the end of the second free practice session of the German Grand Prix weekend, following up on his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who did the business in FP1 on a glorious Friday at Hockenheim.

The Dutchman powered around in a best time of 1:13.085 which was a mere 0.026 up on Lewis Hamilton in second at the wheel of the Mercedes, however, Verstappen’s session was interrupted with only 18 laps on his chart, the Red Bull coming to a halt with an engine leak an hour into the session.

He returned to the track for a systems check with a few minutes remaining. Teammate Ricciardo was only good for 13th in the Red Bull after ending the morning fastest.

A tenth down on the top time was Valtteri Bottas in third at the wheel of the other Mercedes, followed by Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen fourth and fifth respectively. The Reds clearly keeping their powder dry for when it matters.

Haas is firmly the meat in the sandwich between the front runners and the chasing pack, with Romain Grosjean a couple of tenths quicker than Kevin Magnussen, the pair ending fifth and sixth respectively.

Next up in eighth was Charles Leclerc in the Sauber making it five Ferrari-powered cars among the top eight in the 90-minutes session.

Nico Hulkenberg was fastest of the Renault boys in ninth, with teammate Carlos Sainz a tenth adrift but down in 12th. It’s close in the heart of the midfield – only a second separating Grosjean in sixth and Fernando Alonso down in 17th.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon missed FP1 as Nicholas Latifi did duty in the morning, nevertheless the Frenchman was good for tenth at the end of the day, a tad faster than teammate Sergio Perez in 11th.

McLaren and Williams fought it out at for the positions at the foot of the standings, Stoffel Vandoorne slowest of all, 2.3 seconds down on the top time of the day.

Gloom and pain look set to continue unabated at Hockenheim for two of the sport’s most successful Formula 1 teams…