Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 in 2nd German GP practice

Pierre Gasly waded up his Red Bull
Pierre Gasly waded up his Red Bull

Charles Leclerc turned the tables on his veteran Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in the 2nd practice for the German GP by turning the fastest lap of 1m13.449s to finish 0.124s clear of the German.

Lewis Hamilton was close behind in third, just 0.146s back in his Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas in the 2nd Mercedes and Max Verstappen rounded out the top-5.

Ferrari certainly look the team to beat but with rain on the way for tomorrow, will that stay the case? Mercedes certainly look better in the heat here than they did in Austria, although both drivers made mistakes and couldn't hook a fully clean lap together.

The big story of the session though was Pierre Gasly, who crashed out in the final half an hour. The Frenchman has been under pressure of late, having struggled to match the performances of his teammate. This won't have helped his situation at all…


Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton (3rd, 1:13.595): "It's not been the best of days in terms of the heat, but pretty straightforward otherwise. These tires don't like the temperature so we had to do very slow outlaps and the tires don't last very long. It's all about trying to keep the tires in the working range. They were always overheating, so that's been the main issue today, but we're all in the same boat. We're hoping the weather won't be like this for the rest of the weekend. If it's cooler and it's dry, nothing from today really applies – the tires will come back towards us and everyone will be quicker and more comfortable on the track."

Valtteri Bottas (4th, 1:14.111): "It's was extremely hot, I can't remember the last time I drove in these kind of conditions, but it's the same for everyone. It makes it more tricky for the drivers, the cars and the tires. We saw lots of overheating, especially in sector 3. We've made some progress on our cooling; we would have struggled massively to run here with the package we had in Austria, but with the new package we could actually complete some good long runs. The weather is going to be completely different tomorrow and on Sunday with lower temperatures and a chance of rain. So we will need to be very dynamic reacting to the weather with the car set-up. We haven't really run in the wet this year, so I actually hope for rain – it would be nice to drive in the wet."

Andrew Shovlin: "It's been a tough day in the heat, we were seeing over 39°C in the second session which was pretty hard on the tires and the car, not to mention the drivers and the team in the garage. We had quite a few new bits on the car, some for performance and some to improve the cooling. So far, it all seems to be in the right direction but there is so much overheating on the tires today that it is hard to know where we stand. In terms of pace, some runs were a bit better than others but our overall feeling is that in these temperatures, we're probably sitting a little bit behind Ferrari. We've got some useful learning from the sessions today and it's been a good test of the car, but we're expecting a big drop in temperature for the remainder of the weekend. With the cooler temperatures there is a good chance of rain which should keep things interesting."

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

Charles Leclerc (1st, 1:13.449): “It was a positive day overall. The feeling in the car was good and we performed well during the high-fuel runs, which was one of our main challenges at the beginning of the season. High temperatures, such as those we saw today, suit our car well. It seems that there may be a change in the weather conditions tomorrow and on Sunday, which we will adapt to. Over the past few weekends, our competitors only revealed their full potential in qualifying. We must keep our heads down and continue working on optimizing our performance on this track. I look forward to being back in the car tomorrow and will give my best to put it on the front row."

Sebastian Vettel (2nd, 1:13.573): “I am happy with how today went. It took me a short while before finding the rhythm. We lost a bit of time in the first session when running the Mediums because of a red flag. I don’t know what programme our rivals were on, and how much they had to turn down the engine mapping because of the heat. It would be nice to have this weather on Sunday. Overall, it was a positive day, mainly because we have understood how to manage the car in these conditions. We got through all our program aimed at having the car in the best possible set up and we have to continue down this route tomorrow, when track conditions and the weather could be very different."

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal:

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (5th, 1:14.133): "Today was ok. We haven't quite found the perfect balance yet but we are also not too far behind. In FP2 I didn't have a clean lap on the softest compound as I had to abort and around here it is really a one lap tire. I ended up doing extra laps on the tire and the peak of the grip was gone. We are a little bit behind Mercedes and Ferrari but with some fine-tuning it will be ok and I think we are better than the times from FP2 show. It's always good to get plenty of running on a Friday, even if the conditions are going to change, as you can still get an understanding and find the right direction for the rest of the weekend. One thing I know for sure is that it's very hot and I've been sweating a lot!"

Pierre Gasly (15th, 1:15.089): "It was quite a tricky day today. We managed to get some decent laps during FP1 and the feeling with the car was good. We completed the normal tests and then in FP2, we had a couple of issues which meant we didn't get a short run on soft tires and that put us back in the classifications, but the feeling was still good. Unfortunately, towards the end of the session I lost the car exiting the final corner during a long run and hit the barrier. Fortunately I wasn't using my race engine or gearbox, but more importantly I'm really sorry for the boys in the garage and I want to apologize to them as the repairs will make for a long night. Looking ahead to tomorrow, the conditions are going to be completely different so we need to learn from today and analyze all the tests we have done."

Renault Sport Formula One Team

Nico Hulkenberg (9th, 1:14.472): "It's been a productive Friday for us. Obviously, it was very challenging with the heat, which made things tricky for the car, drivers, mechanics and the tires. Managing the tires was a big subject today, but all in all, it's not been a bad day. The midfield looks close again with a lot of cars in there. We need a good effort tomorrow to be at the front of that. I wouldn't mind some rain tomorrow, that would make it interesting around here!"

Daniel Ricciardo (13th, 1:15.010): "We put in plenty of laps today, so no complaints there. We have a bit of lap time to find, but we'll try and figure it out tonight. We won't stress too much as the weather and temperatures look like they'll change for the rest of the weekend. Physically, it wasn't too bad out there, it was certainly hot and quite hard at the wheel but I quite enjoy that! It was tricky making the tires last and the grip didn't feel great, but that's the same for everyone."

Alan Permane, Sporting Director: "It's fair to say it's an unusual situation here. Today was very hot, but over the next few days we're expecting it to be cooler with a huge threat of rain. While we went through our normal work today, it might not be applicable if it does rain and we have to run a wet tire. We made some compromises as a result of that today with one eye on it being wet. We don't have any major concerns from today's running, there's time to find as always, but that's the same for everyone on a Friday night. We're looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

Romain Grosjean (6th, 1:14.179):

Kevin Magnussen (18th, 1:15.470):

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:

McLaren F1 Team

Carlos Sainz (11th, 1:14.662): "I think the hot conditions offered a very challenging Friday to pretty much every team. For us, it was a matter of evaluating new set-up directions, which we did across FP1 and FP2. FP1 looked competitive; FP2 a bit less, so we need to analyze why. Our rivals look like they've made a good step forward, so it'll be interesting come qualifying to see where we are exactly this weekend. The weather conditions also seem to change a lot for tomorrow and Sunday, so that might bring good opportunities. We'll be ready for that."

Lando Norris (16th, 1:15.247): "A tricky day. FP1 wasn't too bad; we got to do everything we needed to. We suffered a bit with the car, a couple of problems here and there but nothing major. In FP2 we tended to struggle a bit more, probably because of the temperature. It didn't seem to suit the car as much. It felt like we improved in some areas but there were other areas where it was worse. We'll go through everything overnight. FP2 was a bit on the messy side with the red flag, and also we had to turn off the car because we were stuck at the end of the pit-lane behind a Renault – so just not as clean as FP1. Plenty of things to improve on tomorrow, but the team will analyze the data and I'm confident we'll be in the mix."

James Key, Technical Director: "Sweltering temperatures today so tricky conditions. I think it was difficult for everyone to understand the track, the car and the tires in such low density air and a very high track temperature. We brought just a few test items today but we had a lot of experimental work to do, so there are several different directions and measurements that we looked at throughout the day, on both cars. I think this morning was fine, and gave us some general directions to follow; this afternoon, with an even higher track temperature, was a little bit more tricky for us. And, although it is close with our competitors, I think there's a little bit of work to do overnight to try to consolidate what we know."

Racing Point F1 Team

Lance Stroll (7th, 1:14.268): "I felt happy with the car. It is early days, but it looks like we have made a step forward with the upgrade. You can see the car looks quite different and it's encouraging to be in the top ten for both sessions. It's only Friday, though, and there is lots of work to be done to carry this performance through until Sunday. Track temperatures were very hot, but looking at the forecast we could see a big change for the weekend."

Sergio Perez (10th, 1:14.518): "A good day, I have to say. I was testing the new package, the same as my team-mate. It's hard to compare with the old parts – especially with such high temperatures today – but it definitely feels like an improvement. The car feels better and I think this direction has more potential. We're still struggling a little bit with the balance, so it was tricky at times and we have some work to do on that tonight – but generally we can be pleased with the level of competitiveness. I'm always careful not to draw conclusions from just one day, so let's see what happens in qualifying."

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: "A busy Friday evaluating the new bodywork. We had parts on the car that only arrived this morning and more things coming overnight, and I want to give credit to everybody in the team who has worked hard to fast-track these changes. Initial feedback from the drivers is positive and the data backs this up. There is a big question mark over the weather tomorrow with rain showers predicted, which would make for an interesting qualifying hour. Either way, we expect cooler conditions than we've seen today."

Alfa Romeo Racing

Kimi Raikkonen (8th, 1:14.458): "It's been a regular Friday and I tend not to look at the times when it is just practice. We always seem to be a bit behind in FP1 and make up ground as the weekend goes on, but times only matter from tomorrow afternoon. The conditions weren't ideal: the heat made it a bit tricky but in the end it's the same for everybody. It'll be interesting to see what the weather does tomorrow and on Sunday, but we just need to focus on the work we have to do to get where we want."

Antonio Giovinazzi (17th, 1:15.406): "It was a very hot first day of action. I did a small mistake on my push lap on softs but I think we have a competitive car so far. The weather could change tomorrow but in the end, even if it rains, it's the same for everyone so we need to adapt to it. We will push to find the best setup tonight and to get a good result in qualifying."

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

Daniil Kvyat (12th, 1:14.800): "It was warm today! The conditions were quite extreme in terms of the heat, so we will see what we can learn and, hopefully, make a step forward tomorrow. We have a lot to understand and analyze tonight, there's definitely room for improvement so we'll do our best to come back with a stronger car ahead of Qualifying. It will be interesting to see what the weather conditions are going to be like tomorrow because the forecast looks very different compared to today, so we will have to adapt quite quickly to it. It was tricky for everyone because these kinds of conditions are rare. We have always been close to the top 10 this year, sometimes outside sometimes inside, so it's the same this weekend, we just need to understand what we need to go quicker."

Alexander Albon (14th, 1:15.062): "I think it wasn't a bad day today, but there is still a bit of work to do. We've brought some upgrades here, so we just need to understand them a bit better. There are things which we can improve on to help get us into the top ten, such as the balance, so we will see how to best optimize the car for Qualifying. However, it seems the weather will be different tomorrow. It was very hot today, probably one of the hottest I've had driving a car, it felt like there was a hairdryer in my face!"

Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: "The temperatures so far this week have been extreme, even by Hockenheim standards. The temperature, combined with the low working range C4 tire compound, made for a tricky Friday as it was almost impossible to keep the tires within their working range. We had the joint most aggressive number of them, so three of our four new tires for Friday were on this compound, mainly to give us as many opportunities as possible to practice for Qualifying. We came here with quite an extensive test plan on both the aero and the mechanical side. The aero tests were predominantly carried out on Alex's car in FP1 leaving Daniil to learn about the balance of the car and how to maximize the performance from the tires. Heading into FP2, both cars had similar programs with two low fuel runs followed by high fuel long runs. The track changed quite a lot between FP1 and FP2 with even higher track temperatures and increased wind, which meant we were lacking overall grip and found it hard to get a consistent balance. Although the ambient temperatures were high, unlike in Austria which has lower ambient pressure, there was less of an impact on the cooling performance here, so from the PU side we were well within limits. The performance of the car today has not been where we expected it to be. In the hot conditions on the C4 compound, we felt we had learnt how to get the most from it, but there is clearly still work to do to optimize the overall grip and balance, particularly over a short Qualifying style run. We have gathered a lot of data from today and it will be a busy evening for the engineers to piece together all of the findings and improve the performance for the rest of the weekend. However, we need to bear in mind that the weather forecast for tomorrow and Sunday is looking very different, with much lower ambient and track temperatures and even a chance of thunderstorms, so we will need to adapt our learning from today and feed that into our setup choice for FP3 onwards."

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: "Due to the heatwave affecting Europe, with 37 degrees air temperature and the track at 50, these are the toughest conditions we have experienced this year. However, the next two days are expected to be significantly cooler, so from the PU side we have taken that change into consideration when planning our settings for qualifying and the race. Both teams ran a normal Friday program but the drivers do not seem entirely satisfied, so we will now work with the teams to try and improve the package."

ROKiT Williams Racing

George Russell (19th, 1:16.900): "Today was very hot! It was quite unrepresentative for the weekend, which I think was the same for everyone up and down the grid. We've learnt some things and got a lot of evaluating to do of the parts we tested today, some of which were only on Robert's car and may also be on my car tomorrow. We're definitely looking forward to putting a bit more performance on the car but today it's really difficult to know what the improvements were, as it was difficult to get a clear back to back comparison. The first signs seem relatively as expected."

Robert Kubica (20th, 1:16.980): "Today wasn't a straightforward day, we brought some new items to the car but were compromised in FP1. Although we have a new package, we were influenced too much by some issues which we can hopefully fix and tomorrow will be a better day. The forecast is for rain tomorrow which might spice things up and shuffle the pack. It will be my first time racing in wet conditions for a long time but let's wait and see what the weather brings."

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: "Today was a very difficult day. Working in the extreme heat is difficult for everyone but it also adds to the confusion over the car behavior. Conditions are very likely to be completely different tomorrow, and on Sunday, and so today was mainly about gathering data, doing our homework, and managing the car in the difficult conditions. We brought some new parts to test at this event and we were able to complete this testing between the two cars. We now have a lot of data to go through tonight to decide on the best specification to take in to the rest of the weekend."

Practice 2 Results

1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:13.449 +0.000s 33
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:13.573 +0.124s 30
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.595 +0.146s 30
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:14.111 +0.662s 30
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:14.133 +0.684s 23
6 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:14.179 +0.730s 33
7 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Bwt Mercedes 1:14.268 +0.819s 32
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:14.458 +1.009s 33
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:14.472 +1.023s 26
10 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point BWT Mercedes 1:14.518 +1.069s 30
11 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:14.662 +1.213s 34
12 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:14.800 +1.351s 39
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:15.010 +1.561s 33
14 23 Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:15.062 +1.613s 36
15 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda 1:15.089 +1.640s 19
16 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:15.247 +1.798s 29
17 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:15.406 +1.957s 31
18 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:15.470 +2.021s 28
19 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:16.900 +3.451s 27
20 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:16.980 +3.531s 26

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