Hamilton tops the charts in second practice following qualifying simulations

Early Pacesetters

Pierre Gasly set the early pace in his Alpha Tauri on the medium compound tyre setting a 1:21.578, which was soon beaten by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton who was fastest after the first half hour setting a time of a 1:20.645. Valtteri Bottas was two tenths down on Hamilton in second fastest although he was running on the hard tyre.  Max Verstappen's Red Bull was six tenths down on the silver arrows on the medium tyre. 

The Alfa Romeo's of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi looked good early on with the pair 10th and 12th fastest after the first half hour, despite struggling towards the back of the grid for most of this season.

All the cars returned to the pit lane ready to prepare for their qualifying simulations on the soft tyre. 

Qualifying Simulations

With a qualifying engine mode ban coming into force, qualy sims were always going to be interesting.

There was a colossal 15 car queue going into turn 11 as all the drivers looked for a tow to gain as much time as possible throughout the lap.

Lewis Hamilton topped the charts after the simulations setting a time of 1:20.192 which was 0.262s quicker than teammate Bottas in the sister Mercedes.

McLaren's Lando Norris had some engine issues but with ten minutes left in the session he managed to get a lap on the board which earned him an impressive third fastest, 0.897s of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton who ended the session fastest. 

Pierre Gasly continued to look quick on the soft tyre in his Alpha Tauri and was fourth fastest following the soft tyre runs, just over a tenth quicker than his former Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen.

As we have seen so far this season the midfield was tight, only half a second separated everyone from Carlos Sainz in fourth and Alex Albon in 13th. 

Daniel Riccardo's Renault sat down in 14th after having his lap time deleted for exceeding track limits at turn 11. The Australian sat 1.888 seconds of the pace on the medium tyre and will be hoping for a better performance in qualifying on Saturday. 

Problems for Russell

After sitting out of FP1, George Russell struggled to hit form when he hopped back into Williams for the second practice session. The Englishman complained on the radio saying "the car feels soft" which is something the Williams team will need to address over the rest of the weekend. 

Timing Classification

1. Lewis Hamilton 1:20.192

2. Valtteri Bottas +0.262

3. Lando Norris +0.897

4. Pierre Gasly +0.929

5. Max Verstappen +1.036

6. Carlos Sainz +1.121

7. Daniil Kvyat +1.184

8. Lance Stroll +1.197

9. Charles Leclerc +1.311

10. Sergio Perez +1.402

11. Esteban Ocon +1.505

12. Sebastian Vettel +1.541

13. Antonio Giovinazzi +1.594

14. Alexander Albon +1.691

15. Daniel Ricciardo +1.888

16. Kevin Magnussen +1.896

17. Kimi Raikkonen +1.955

18. Romain Grosjean +2.062

19. Nicholas Latifi +2.633

20. George Russell +2.735