Lewis Hamilton tops second practice session for Spanish GP ahead of team mate Bottas

Lewis Hamilton (Bryn Lennon / Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton (Bryn Lennon / Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon

• Lewis Hamilton went fastest in the second practice session.

• Verstappen came to within 0.9sec of the Mercedes duo.

• It is unlikely for any team to topple Merc in the race.

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Lewis Hamilton turned the tables on his Mercedes team mate, Valtteri Bottas, by going fastest in the second practice session.

Hamilton returned a 1:16.883, with Bottas only 0.287 seconds off the pace. They were again chased by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who came to within 0.8sec of the Mercedes duo - a 0.1sec improvement on the gap at the end of the first session.

Hamilton and Bottas had no issue putting clear air between them and the rest of the field and was nowhere near running at the full pace of their cars' capabilities. It does not bode too well for the rest of the field who were thinking of competing for victory.

The only driver who could have a say in the outcome of Sunday's race is Verstappen. Though the gap to Mercedes would not be encouraging, the Austrian team might try their hand at risking the strategy.

Battles brewing

Behind the top three runners, Daniel Ricciardo improved on his poor performance in the first practice session, going fourth fastest in the second. Other than Verstappen, he was the only driver to have come within a second of Hamilton and Bottas.

For Ferrari, it was another tough session as Charles Leclerc finished in sixth place and Sebastian Vettel in 12th. Judging on the performances in FP2, Ferrari might have to stave off challenges from Haas and Renault, in addition to fighting for position against McLaren and Racing Point.

It would seem, however, that Racing Point is struggling with downforce, which is costing them time in the corners. The best-placed Racing Point of Sergio Perez managed eighth-place and 1.4sec off the pace.

In the second half of the session, teams ran longer stints, and it became clear that the Mercedes cars were a lot more comfortable. It is safe to expect both Hamilton and Bottas to run riot in qualifying and the race.

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