Gasly wrecks Red Bull in heavy FP2 crash

Date published: July 26 2019

The pressure came flooding back for Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly after a heavy accident at the final corner in FP2 ahead of the German GP.

Here is how Friday’s action unfolded around the Hockenheimring…

Most of Europe is enduring a heatwave at present with Germany suffering some of the most extreme temperatures. Max Verstappen therefore had his priorities in check early.

Meanwhile Lando Norris made Sebastian Vettel feel old…

Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t wait to get started.

It was what you call a bit warm heading into FP1…

Kevin Magnussen brought out the first red flag of the session when his VF-19 ground to a halt as he entered the stadium section. Guenther Steiner confirmed it was a sensor issue on the engine.

A more brutal assessment of the situation…

Red Bull’s Verstappen went for a drive on the mediums and set a 1:16.100 to go P1, but the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton quickly shattered that time with 30 minutes gone in the session.

A 1:14.828 put Bottas over seven tenths clear of Hamilton.

Charles Leclerc found time to split the Silver Arrows.

It took 50 minutes but finally Hamilton woke up to move within a tenth of Bottas. Sadly a loose sensor on the front wing forced the Brit to stop and get it taped back on.

Leclerc finally joined the party to go P1, while Verstappen also picked up the pace to move into P3. The top three were seperated by 0.06s, but both Mercedes set their times on the mediums, meaning they were likely to have more pace to come.

Vettel then got in on the action to tease a good battle at the top if the rain does arrive for Saturday and Sunday.

There was some late drama for Bottas after he went off into the gravel at the Sachs kerb. Somehow he managed to reverse out  and continue.

Meanwhile, Vettel headed a one-two in FP1 for the Scuderia.

Things got even hotter for FP2…

The Scuderia were setting the early pace to pick up where they left off with Leclerc going P1 and Vettel P2.

Hamilton then fancied a go at setting the pace. A 1:14.074 on the mediums set an impressive benchmark.

Romain Grosjean then decided to split the Mercedes. It may have been on the softs but still a 1:14.1 was quite the time from the Haas driver.

Vettel went for his first run on the softs, 0.5s was his advantage over Hamilton but the softs were struggling to hold on in the closing stages of the lap.

With 50 minutes to go Leclerc set the fastest time of the session, while Hamilton was over a tenth down with both using the softs.

With Leclerc now leading a Ferrari one-two in a reversal from the morning, the drivers went into race sim mode.

It had been a tough Friday for Gasly, and it got far worse after a heavy smash coming out of the final corner.

It was another one-two for Ferrari, but Mercedes are shaping up nicely to make it a four-way battle on Saturday.

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