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German GP: Verstappen gives Red Bull Friday sweep in Practice 2

Written by  Jul 21, 2018

Max Verstappen kept Red Bull as the surprise leaders on Friday at the German Grand Prix after pipping Lewis Hamilton to P1 in Practice 2.

The top two would both have far from ideal laps as traffic hindered the Dutchman through the Stadium and the Mercedes driver ran wide at Turn 1 but the 1m13.085s from Verstappen gave him a 0.026s advantage over the four-time world champion.

There would be a late scare for the Red Bull man, as an oil leak saw him return to the garage during the race simulation, but it was soon fixed and Max would return to the track for the final few minutes.

Mercedes and Ferrari are poised to strike on Saturday though with Valtteri Bottas within a tenth of his teammate Hamilton in third and Sebastian Vettel within a quarter of a second in fourth.

Indeed, the German seemed very at ease with his performance, likely in the knowledge that the Scuderia don't show their true pace until qualifying as Kimi Raikkonen sat fifth. 

With a 20-place grid penalty for new engine components, morning leader Daniel Ricciardo would concentrate on long runs throughout the session, finishing 13th overall.

But it was still an eventful 90 minutes for the Aussie with a spin at Turn 8 and a near-miss with Sergey Sirotkin at the hairpin keeping him on his toes.

It would allow the two Haas cars to move up one position in the afternoon though, as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen continued as the fourth best team in sixth and seventh respectively.

Ferrari power also seems to be dominating the midfield once again too, with Charles Leclerc moving up to eighth after completing his low-fuel Ultrasoft tyre run a little later than the rest.

The two Renaults and two Force Indias all set times within the same tenth as Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon, who gave his car to Nicholas Latifi in Practice 1, completed the top 10 order.

Teammate Sergio Perez was 11th as Carlos Sainz made up for a water leak in the morning and can be satisfied with his position albeit in P12.

With a tight battle for the final places in Q3 on the cards then, the fight to make it out of Q1 also looks fierce with Marcus Ericsson in 14th but with the Toro Rosso's and Fernando Alonso all within a tenth down to P17.

There were signs of hope at Williams with both drivers reporting some progress thanks to a new front wing, although both drivers would continue to sit at the back in 18th and 19th with Sergey Sirotkin going for a trip through the gravel at the Sachskurve.

The second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne again brought up the timesheets as the Belgian endured a day blighted by set-up problems and lost track time.

A full list of times can be seen below:

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