Max fifth in second Hockenheim practice: 'Not too far behind'

Published on 26 July 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen ended Friday practice with fifth place in FP2. In the scorching heat, the Dutchman completed 23 laps of the Hockenheim circuit. Similar to the morning session, the Ferrari’s set the pace. This time it was Charles Leclerc who set the quickest time, ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton completed the top three.

“It’s hot and sweaty, but only when you’re stationary in the car, is it really tough. When you’re driving it’s fine and not too hot”, said Max after the second practice session. “Today could’ve been better but we’re not too far behind. We have to improve a couple of things but generally speaking it’s looking not too bad. We haven’t found the perfect balance so there’s still some work to do.”

Max thinks there is still some pace to be unlocked going into Saturday. “I had to come in on the soft compound to change a couple of engine settings. After that, I had to continue on that used set and there just isn’t as much grip compared to a brand new set.”

The changes were prompted by the FIA. “They asked us to change something, that’s why we came in. We changed a couple of things in the engine set-up, which meant we switched back to the normal setting. After that, it was fine.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, with rain forecasted, Max concluded: “It could be wet tomorrow and dry on Sunday. Regardless, I’ll be ready.”

With an ambient temperature of 37 and track temperature north of 50 degrees, most teams wait to hit the track at the start of the session. Twenty minutes in, Max is the last of the drivers to eventually steer his car out of the pits. After a six lap stint on the medium Pirelli tyres, he returns to the team.

At the halfway mark, Max attempts a low fuel run on the soft tyres. After two laps, and informing the team of ‘no power’, he comes back into the pits. His mechanics appear to solve the problem quickly and, a few minutes later, the Dutchman is out on circuit again.

With twenty minutes to go, Max heads out for a long run on the medium Pirellis. Sadly his stint is interrupted by a red flag caused by Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team mate Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman crashed hard in the final corner resulting in a heavily damaged RB15. Thankfully, Gasly is uninjured and after the track is cleared, the session resumes.

In the remainder of the session, Max completes a couple of laps on race pace, meaning is best time is not bettered.

At the end of session, it is the Ferraris that lead the way with Leclerc outpacing local hero Vettel by a tenth. The Mercedes of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are third and fourth fastest.

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Results second free practice Germany:

posdriverteamtimegaplaps
1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:13.449 33
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:13.573+0.124s30
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:13.595+0.146s30
4Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:14.111+0.662s30
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:14.133+0.684s23
6Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:14.179+0.730s33
7Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:14.268+0.819s32
8Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:14.458+1.009s33
9Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:14.472+1.023s26
10Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:14.518+1.069s30
11Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:14.662+1.213s34
12Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:14.800+1.351s39
13Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:15.010+1.561s33
14Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:15.062+1.613s36
15Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:15.089+1.640s19
16Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:15.247+1.798s29
17Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:15.406+1.957s31
18Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:15.470+2.021s28
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:16.900+3.451s27
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:16.980+3.531s26