The Red Bull Ring is a very special track. Short and fast, it leaves no room for error if a driver wants to get the best time possible. Who were the fastest teams in each sector during free practice 2? What do the stats say? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Free practice 2 (FP2) – Best time for each team by sector
Note: This analysis only takes into consideration the best sector time for the fastest driver of each team as long as it was done in FP2. Meaning that for example, in sector 1, Vettel did the best time at Ferrari, but in sector 2 and 3, Leclerc posted the best time for the team.
Ferrari managed to do the best times for both sector 1 and sector 2. Sebastian Vettel did the fastest sector 1, with a time of 16.253 seconds. Pierre Gasly followed for Red Bull, behind by 0.123 seconds, and Hamilton came third, with a delta of 0.213 seconds compared to the leader.
In sector 2, Charles Leclerc had the best time of the team and of the sector, a 28.71 seconds time. McLaren was very strong in the middle sector, and was the second fastest, with a delta of 0.187 seconds. Hamilton, once again, came third, with a delta of 0.218 seconds compared to the leader.
In the final sector, Mercedes took the top spot, with a time of 19.718 seconds. Haas is a surpsing inclusion here, with a time of 19.794 seconds, less than a tenth away from Mercedes. Charles Leclerc did the third best time of the sector, only 0.138 seconds behind Hamilton.
The midfield battle looks very interesting once again. In sector 1, Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso and Racing Point, were all separated by only 14 thousands of a second. In sector 2, Raikkonen and Grosjean, of Alfa Romeo and Haas, seemed to have the edge over the rest of the midfield drivers. Finally, in sector 3, McLaren looked a full step ahead of the remaining midfield teams, and was over 2 tenths faster than the next fastest team, Alfa Romeo.
Something to take note of, is Haas’ performance. In sector 3, Romain Grosjean was less than a tenth slower than Lewis Hamilton, while in sector 1 he was less than a tenth faster than Williams. Since Kevin Magnussen was slower than Romain in all three sectors, he is not shown in this graph, but in sector 1 he was only one hundredth of a second faster than George Russell.
Free practice 2 (FP2) – Ideal lap for each team
Note: This is mostly a theoretical analysis. I took the best time of each sector of each team, and added them together to form an “ideal” lap. A perfect lap may consist of 3 times done by the same driver, as long as he was the fastest for the team in all three sectors, or of 2 sector times from one driver and another one from the other team driver. For example, Ferrari’s “ideal” lap consists of 2 sectors done by Charles Leclerc and one sector done by Sebastian Vettel. Take this numbers with a grain of salt.
Ferrari looks to be the fastest in one lap pace in this particular analysis, by almost 3 tenths over the next best team, Mercedes. Red Bull would be nearly 5 tenths slower than the Scuderia, and 2 tenths slower than the Silver Arrows. McLaren, once again, looks strong in one lap pace, and it will be interesting to see what can they do during the qualifying session.
Alfa Romeo and Haas would be separated by only 16 thousands of a second, with Renault looking particularly vulnerable, being over a tenth slower than the 8th fastest team, Racing Point. Williams, as usual, is far away from the rest of the teams, and will not challenge any other team tomorrow.
Surprising one lap pace from Ferrari at Austria. The Scuderia managed to post the best time at sector 1 and two, and were only topped by Mercedes in sector 3.
After creating an an “ideal” lap, Ferrari also came out on top, with a lap time of 1:04.818. Mercedes was a solid 294 thousands of a second behind, and Red Bull almost half a tenth away from the best ideal time. It is important to note that Max Verstappen did not do many laps during FP2, and he has been the fastest driver over the season at the Austrian team.
McLaren will be looking to solidify their position tomorrow, and will look to challenge Red Bull once again. Alfa Romeo and Haas seem to be in contention for Q3, while Toro Rosso, Racing Point and Renault will have to get some extra pace in order to have a succesful qualifying session tomorrow.
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