Max third after Friday practice: 'It's a cool track'

Published on 19 November 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen finished the second Friday practice session of the Qatar Grand Prix in third. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was quickest, ahead of Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri.

“It was the first time driving in the evening here”, said Max post-training. “It is important to know how the car reacts. There was quite a bit of difference between the medium and softs and that’s why I think it didn’t go so well on the softs. But as I said, it’s the first time here, so there are still some things we need to learn and understand. We still have to get to know the circuit, but it’s a cool track.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of the weekend, Max said: “It’s difficult to say. With these cars it’s difficult to follow, but it will be alright over one lap. It’s too early to say if we can fight for the pole or the win. Let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings. There are still a lot of things to look at because this track is new for us.”

At the start of the session, one driver is missing; Nikita Mazepin’s Haas needs a chassis change, which proves too time consuming to give the Russian the option to participate in practice. It means important track time is lost for the Haas driver as FP2 is the first session of the weekend run under the artificial lights, in conditions similar to Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.

In the first half of the session, the teams rush their drivers out to gain valuable data. As they get to grips with the new conditions, top spot keeps changing hands.

Around the halfway mark, the teams send their drivers out to conduct qualifying simulations. Bottas is the first of the front runners to set a competitive lap time, but the Mercedes driver has his time cancelled after a track limit infringement. Soon after, the Finn retaliates with the fastest lap of the session.

Gasly builds on his form shown in FP1, by clocking the second quickest time. Both Red Bulls fall short. First, Sergio Perez hits traffic and Max goes wide in turn ten on his first effort.

After a quick visit to the team, Max heads out for another flying lap on a set of used softs. After quicker first and second sectors, he is unable to improve in the third, but still manages to better his time, earning him P3.

In the closing stages, all teams focus on long runs, meaning the lap times are not bettered and thus Bottas ends FP2 in P1, followed by Gasly and Max.

Contest GP Qatar: win a by Max Verstappen signed RBR Driver Cap 2021!

 

Results second free practice Qatar:

posdriverteamtimegaplaps
1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:23.148 27
2Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:23.357+0.209s27
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:23.498+0.350s20
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:23.570+0.422s25
5Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:23.632+0.484s24
6Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:23.705+0.557s26
7Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:23.735+0.587s28
8Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:23.787+0.639s20
9Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:24.020+0.872s27
10Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:24.033+0.885s28
11Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:24.041+0.893s29
12Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:24.056+0.908s25
13Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:24.095+0.947s23
14Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:24.135+0.987s24
15Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:24.631+1.483s26
16George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:24.954+1.806s27
17Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:25.072+1.924s23
18Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:25.209+2.061s28
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:25.575+2.427s27