Max P3 in second free practice in America: 'Positive day'

Published on 02 November 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen came in third fastest after the second free practice for the USA Grand Prix. The Dutchman lapped the Circuit of the Americas in Texas 28 times with a 1:33.547 as his best lap time. Lewis Hamilton was the quickest with a 1:33.232. Charles Leclerc took the flag in second and barely stayed ahead of Max.

“It was a positive day”, says Max after the second free practice. “The pace in the short runs is not bad and we seem to be pretty competitive there. The long runs are not quite yet what they should be, so we still have some work to do here. All in all it was a good day.”

The Friday in Austin is characterized by the low temperatures and the many bumps on the track. How does this affect the setup of the car? “This will likely change, but that will be more in the finer details. It is very bumpy, but that applies to us all. Luckily most of the bumps are outside of the braking zones. The car handled that very well, so that was good.”

It is 15:00 hrs local time when the lights turn green to get the second free practice underway. Robert Kubica immediately heads out on the asphalt and is quickly followed by Alexander Albon and George Russell. The latter is behind the wheel of the Williams for the first time today, as the Briton had to pass control of the car to Formula 2-driver Nicholas Latifi during the first free practice.

Just like the first free practice the teams have the possibility to test the Pirelli 2020 prototype tyre inorder to be able to gather valuable information. The Italian tyre manufacturer will have two sets of the experimental C4-tyre available on Friday in Austin for every driver.

After about ten minutes into the session, it’s suddenly stopped. Romain Grosjean lost control of his Haas entering Turn five and slipped of track quite severely. This means a premature end of the session for the Frenchman who is forced to leave a badly damaged car behind. After a brief delay, the teams and drivers are able to continue on with their work.

Max starts his first run on the mediums with a 1:35.022 to his name, which earns him P2. Not much later, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver betters his time to a 1:34.710. This keeps the gap to Charles Leclerc (P1) to almost three tenths. Behind the two some, some half an hour later, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Alexander Albon and Sebastian Vettel form the top six.

Verstappen takes his time during this period. The youngster emerges on track with just forty minutes remaining on the clock, but this time round on the red-striped soft tyre. Lewis Hamilton is topping the board at that moment with a 1:33.232. During Max’ first run on the softs he clocks a 1:33.547, good enough for P3. With this, he is three tenths down on Hamilton, who is likely to secure his sixth world championship title this weekend.

After a stellar lap, Max reports back to his team before he heads back out again with still well over twenty minutes remaining on the clock. The Dutchman has had a new set of the softs strapped on to his RB15 as he embarks, just like many others, on a long run. Verstappen starts this with low 1:39’ers, but his times slowly start inching up to low 1:40’s.

In the closing stages of the session, Max does a brief pit stop as he heads back out on the mediums. During this run he sets some high 1:39’ers, after which the chequered flag is waved and the session comes to an end. Lewis Hamilton tops the board during the second free practice. Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Alexander Albon round up the top six.

USA GP contest: Win the grey Max Verstappen zip hoodie!

Results second free practice United-states:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:33.232 34
2Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:33.533+0.301s33
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:33.547+0.315s28
4Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:33.890+0.658s35
5Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:34.045+0.813s34
6Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:34.434+1.202s32
7Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.509+1.277s31
8Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:34.667+1.435s34
9Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:34.744+1.512s29
10Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:34.839+1.607s29
11Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:34.924+1.692s29
12Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.975+1.743s36
13Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:34.988+1.756s32
14Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:35.025+1.793s30
15Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:35.109+1.877s26
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:35.387+2.155s34
17Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:35.442+2.210s28
18Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:35.789+2.557s4
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:36.749+3.517s37
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:37.283+4.051s33