During a Formula One weekend, FP2 begins to reveal the likely qualifying pecking order for the following day. Having struggled in FP1 Mercedes again changed the ride height of their car which had Hamilton complaining “It’s so bouncy our here I’m losing my mind,” adding ironically, “I need elbow pads” due to the extreme bouncing.
Practice two saw the favourites Ferrari top the time sheets with Carlos Sainz closer than he’s been in most sessions this year to his team mate. The Spaniard was a mere 0.044s behind Leclerc at the chequered flag.
Carlos Sainz has received some criticism for his failure to be closer to his Ferrari team mate, but today he was as close to Leclerc as he’s been all season.
The Red Bulls reversed their FP1 order with Verstappen 0.379s behind LecLerc and Perez less than 0.1s behind his team mate.
During the session, pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz observed the team were still making big changes to Hamilton’s car setup while George Russell was making smaller changes and honing in on a qualification setup.
The result was Russell kept improving his time finishing P6 but a full quarter of a second of the lead time. But Hamilton appears lost as how to set up the car.
Meanwhile Hamilton’s woes continued as he failed to make progress. His best effort was a whopping 1.611s slower than LeClerc and 0.85s slower than Russell. Lewis finished the session in P12.
Lewis’ ex-team mate Nico Rosberg observed, “We know that the Mercedes car is difficult to drive, but George has stuck with it and he’s just found this flow out there.
“We know the Mercedes car is difficult to drive here, but George has just stuck with it and found this flow out there… and he’s in the fight with Lando for ‘best of the rest’.
“And Lewis has just lost his way”.
The Mercedes upgraded stiffer floor that performed well in Spain appears to be bouncing the drivers around on the bumpy streets of the principality more than others. Add this to the fact the new Pirelli tyres have stiffer side walls with no suspension travel and you get what Toto Wolff described to Hamilton in Imola as a car that looks “undrivable” for Lewis.