Valtteri Bottas beat teammate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.069s as Ferrari was within 0.2s during second practice at the British Grand Prix.
The Finn set the pace from an early stage in the session and held on despite a reliability issue confining him to the garage for much of the second half of FP2 as Mercedes changed a spark plug. Bottas’ time of 1m26.732s left him less than 0.1s clear of Hamilton, while Charles Leclerc ended up just 0.197s adrift in third place.
It was encouraging pace for Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel within half a second in fourth place. Red Bull was also competitive after Pierre Gasly topped FP1, with the Frenchman again showing up well in fifth place, 0.069s off Vettel’s time.
Lando Norris was sixth fastest for McLaren who again looked best of the rest, managing to edge out Max Verstappen as both were caught out on their first soft tire runs. Norris returned to the track to improve and post a 1m27.546s — 0.8s off Bottas — while Verstappen failed to improve on his best medium tire lap.
Carlos Sainz, Alexander Albon and Sergio Perez completed the top 10, with Albon one of a number of drivers to have an off-track moment as he matched his FP1 error by going off at Brooklands.
The most damaging excursion was not through a mistake, as Daniel Ricciardo suffered an issue going through Maggotts and had to pull off the track on the exit of Becketts, with an engine problem to blame. Renault says the Australian was running its previous specification of power unit during Friday and will be installing the latest spec ahead of qualifying.
There was a spin for Robert Kubica at Club corner in a session where Williams also lost out on track time due to a gearbox issue for George Russell, but the rest of the incidents were less dramatic.
Vettel went off at Maggots and bounced across the grass, while Hamilton similarly went wide into the run-off area at Becketts, an error matched by Norris on his first soft tire lap.
Romain Grosjean spent the majority of the first half of the session in the garage after struggling in FP1 and was limited to 18th quickest ahead of only the Williams pair.