Max second after Friday practice in Portugal: 'It was tricky'

Published on 30 April 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen finished Friday practice of the Portuguese Grand Prix in second place. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was quickest with Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas completing the top three.

“It was tricky because of the slippery surface. I know it’s the same for everyone but it was super slippery and it’s not nice to drive on”, said Max after FP2. “The car felt good, but we still have some work to do, but generally speaking it feels good.”

He added: “The conditions are similar to last year, but the tyres have changed, and we’ve lost a bit of grip due to the cars having changed. It’s tricky out there and that’s a shame, because this track is amazing. It’s all about tyre temperature and it shouldn’t be that way.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the weekend, Max said: “It’s too early to make predictions about the race. We can go a bit quicker and our long run wasn’t bad. However, the balance over a quick lap was not optimal. We’ll see what we can do about that tomorrow.”

The start of the second practice session is delayed by ten minutes to give track officials enough time to check drainage covers at the track, in particular the outside of turn eleven.

When the track is cleared and the pit lane opens, the teams rush out. Within two minutes, all drivers are out on track, all sporting the medium Pirelli tyres.

Max looks to set the pace but informs the team of a brake-by-wire issue, after which he is called back to the garage.

After twenty minutes, Max is back on track, again on the mediums. He is immediately on the pace, clocking the fastest lap. Sadly, he cannot enjoy the top spot for long as Bottas pips the Red Bull Racer with a quick lap on the soft Pirellis.

Just after the halfway point, Max also decides to bolt on the softs. His first flying lap lifts him from P6 to second. On his second attempt, he is unable to best his previous effort, meaning the Dutchman remains in second, sandwiched between the Mercedes of Hamilton (P1) and Bottas (P3).

In the remaining quarter of the session, the focus turns to long runs, meaning lap times are not bettered and the top three remains Hamilton, Max and Bottas.

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Results second free practice Portugal:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:19.837 33
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:19.980+0.143s26
3Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:20.181+0.344s28
4Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:20.197+0.360s33
5Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:20.220+0.383s32
6Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:20.235+0.398s31
7Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:20.360+0.523s33
8Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:20.418+0.581s31
9Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:20.427+0.590s31
10Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:20.516+0.679s28
11Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:20.558+0.721s34
12Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:20.757+0.920s28
13George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:20.976+1.139s32
14Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:21.053+1.216s33
15Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:21.074+1.237s32
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:21.225+1.388s22
17Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:21.238+1.401s32
18Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:21.537+1.700s29
19Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:21.855+2.018s31
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:22.638+2.801s28