Valtteri Bottas emerged fastest after two eventful Friday Practice sessions for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, as drivers got to grips with the Algarve International Circuit and a Pirelli prototype test.
in two contrasting sessions as drivers learned their way around the circuit and its very limits, Bottas quietly claimed the fastest times across both sessions without dominating as Max Verstappen featured in the top three across FP1 and FP2 despite a collision in the latter.
Pirelli also threw a 2020 prototype tyre test during the opening 30 minutes of FP2 so here is the full story behind Friday Practice for the 2020 Portuguese GP.
Antonio Giovinazzi was the first driver to hit the track as drivers soon struggled with track limits, as Carlos Sainz discovered to his cost on various occasions with deleted lap times in the opening minutes, before eventually setting a 1m 20.696.
Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Albon soon saw times deleted before Charles Leclerc went top with a 1m 20.410 just before Giovinazzi ran wide, only for Lewis Hamilton to go quicker just 33 minutes into the session before improving to 1m 19.526 on his second flier.
FP1 overall saw plenty of running with Alpha Tauri’s Daniil Kvyat reporting graining on his mediums after a couple of laps, as Bottas moved top in 62nd minute with a 1m 19.491 only for Hamilton to eventually improve to an eventual 1m 18.749.
Bottas however bettered that time just a minute later with a session-topping 1m 18.410 to finish fastest ahead of Hamilton by 0.339s with Max Verstappen, Leclerc, Alex Albon, Sainz, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly completing the top ten.
Further down the order, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll finished his first session back in 15th position, following a positive Coronavirus test which kept him out of the Eifel GP weekend.
Pirelli held a 30 minute 2021 prototype tyre test in the opening half hour of FP2 with Raikkonen leading the drivers out onto track with the aim of all drivers staying on track throughout that period.
Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton however were amongst those who didn’t last the entire period following a mixture of spins and flat spots.
Verstappen eventually emerged fastest in the prototype tyre test with a 1m 21.575, just ahead of Bottas by 0.087s, as Leclerc, Perez and Lando Norris rounded out the top five.
Focus immediately switched back to typical FP2 running afterwards with Gasly and Albon finding their times deleted for exceeding track limits, whilst Vettel suffered a spin at Turn 14 before managing to continue on his way.
Bottas soon proceeded to set a 1m 17.940 which eventually was unbeaten throughout remainder of the session featuring two red flags.
Gasly caused the first stoppage just a minute after Bottas’ session-topping flier when his Alpha Tauri suddenly caught alight at the rear, bringing the session to a 16 minute halt as marshals put out the fire before removing the car.
Hamilton had struggled to find space for a flying lap on soft tyres just before the red flag and immediately set a 1m 19.308 to go sixth fastest, just moments before a collision between Verstappen and Lance Stroll triggered the second stoppage.
Stroll was on the first of two consecutive flying laps when he came across and passed Verstappen through the final two corners, unaware that the Dutchman was preparing for a flier which he soon began with inside line into Turn One as Stroll cut across on exit from outside line and got his right rear clipped by Verstappen to send him into the gravel.
Stewards post-session decided that no further action was necessary and determined that the collision was “a result of a misunderstanding” between both drivers.
After a 17 minute delay, the session resumed with several drivers opting for flying laps due to just seven minutes left of the session as Bottas topped the day from Verstappen and Lando Norris, as the Brit produced a superb last lap to snatch third on the timing sheet.
Leclerc, Sainz, Vettel, Gasly, Hamilton, Esteban Ocon and Albon rounded out the top ten with Williams’ George Russell in a surprise 11th place, although the timing sheet isn’t totally representative due to a mixture of red flags and drivers struggling to extract time in their fastest laps.
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1m 18.410|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.339|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.781|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.899|
|5||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 0.955|
|6||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 1.031|
|7||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 1.497|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.544|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 1.648|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||+ 1.714|
|11||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.790|
|12||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 1.797|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||+ 1.868|
|14||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 2.436|
|15||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 2.544|
|16||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 2.599|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 2.759|
|18||George Russell||Williams||+ 2.964|
|19||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 3.263|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 3.644|
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1m 17.940|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.595|
|3||Lando Norris||Ferrari||+ 0.803|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.898|
|5||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 1.173|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.235|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||+ 1.238|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 1.368|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 1.556|
|10||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 1.703|
|11||George Russell||Williams||+ 1.881|
|12||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 1.961|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 2.047|
|14||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 2.525|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 2.550|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 2.740|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||+ 2.789|
|18||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 2.927|
|19||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 3.043|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 3.456|