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Verstappen, Stroll in ‘ridiculous’ FP2 crash, Bottas fastest

by Lucy Morson
3 min read

Second practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix was interrupted by a clash between Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll, which Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer labelled “ridiculous”.

As the session ticked over into the final half an hour, Stroll began a second consecutive fast lap for Racing Point, with Verstappen following close behind about to set a lap of his own.

Stroll – apparently unaware of Verstappen – moved across in front of the Red Bull at the first corner and caused a tangle, with both cars spinning out into the gravel.

In communications with his Red Bull team, Verstappen subsequently used outdated, offensive terminology similar to that when he abused FIA steward Garry Connelly in 2017.

“What, is this fucking guy blind? What the fuck is wrong with him? Jesus Christ. What a r****d. Yeah, I have damage. What a, what a M****l, I swear,” Verstappen said over team radio.

Asked by Sky about his choice of words afterwards, he said: “Not my problem.”

Racing Point team boss Szafnauer was interviewed by Sky moments after the incident and said: “We didn’t anticipate Max, what was the purpose? It’s just ridiculous – for what gain?

“I can assure you 100% that Max knew Lance was there. 100% there is no way he doesn’t know Lance is there. But Lance doesn’t know Max is there, it’s pretty simple to me.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said “both had a role to play” in the incident.

“Max has gone for the tow, he’s assuming that Lance is going to back out. He doesn’t know that Lance is going for a second lap.

“We saw that Lance was looking at his dash, maybe he’s not even aware that Max is there.

“Both sides are going to argue their case but I think you’d have to say it was a 50/50 and that’s it.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Portuguese Grand Prix Practice Day Portimao, Portugal

The incident resulted in a red-flag period – the second of the day after the one incurred by Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri fire – and both Verstappen and Stroll are expected to be summoned to the stewards to ascertain the circumstances of the clash.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas continued his dominant streak of Friday running by setting a time of 1m17.940s to end the day fastest, ahead of Verstappen.

McLaren’s Lando Norris made a last-lap improvement to just pip Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to third place, with Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Vettel following behind their respective team-mates in fifth and sixth.

Despite Gasly pulling aside with his AlphaTauri ablaze, he still set a time fast enough for seventh, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Estevan Ocon in eighth and ninth.

Alex Albon completed the top 10 for Red Bull.

Practice 2 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m17.94s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m18.535s +0.595s
3 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m18.743s +0.803s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m18.838s +0.898s
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren-Renault 1m19.113s +1.173s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m19.175s +1.235s
7 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m19.178s +1.238s
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.308s +1.368s
9 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m19.496s +1.556s
10 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m19.643s +1.703s
11 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m19.821s +1.881s
12 Sergio Pérez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m19.901s +1.961s
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m19.987s +2.047s
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m20.465s +2.525s
15 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m20.49s +2.55s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m20.68s +2.74s
17 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1m20.729s +2.789s
18 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m20.867s +2.927s
19 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m20.983s +3.043s
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m21.396s +3.456s
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