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Portuguese Grand Prix - Free practice 2: Charles fourth, Seb sixth

Portimão 23 October 2020

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were fourth and sixth respectively in the second free practice session for the Portuguese Grand Prix at the wonderful Autòdromo Internacional do Algarve just outside Portimão.

Stop-start session.  The session was red flagged twice, firstly because of a problem on Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and then again after a collision between Max Verstappen in the Red Bull and Lance Stroll in the Racing Point. As with all the other runners, the two SF1000s were fitted with Pirelli’s 2021 prototype tyres for the first half hour of the afternoon, before switching to the normal Mediums for the next part.

Final Sprint.  The second stoppage lasted quite a while, so that there were only just over six minutes of track time remaining. The team therefore decided to try the Soft tyre which will most likely be the quickest in qualifying. Both drivers set good split times in this configuration but were unable to beat their earlier times on the Medium compound: 1”18”838 for Charles, fourth fastest and 1’19”175 for Sebastian, sixth. 

Programme.  The two stoppages meant that not all the planned programme was completed, but there’s still the third free practice tomorrow at 11 local (12 CET.) The grid-deciding session gets underway at 14, while the 17th Portuguese Grand Prix to count towards the Formula 1 World Championship starts at 13.10 on Sunday 25 October.