Valtteri Bottas was fastest during Practice Two for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday, edging out Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The Finn produced a fastest time of 1:08.846 to edge out world champion Hamilton by just 0.003 seconds at the Interlagos track, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was within a tenth of Bottas’ benchmark time.
Red Bull are also expected to challenge over the rest of the weekend, but, after finishing fastest during Practice One, Max Verstappen was only fifth quickest during P2, although that was largely down to a crack in his oil tank which forced him to miss the first 50 minutes of the session.
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest, but he will have to take a five-place grid penalty during Sunday’s race after he was forced into an unexpected turbo change.
The Australian, who is racing for the penultimate time as a Red Bull driver before his move to Renault ahead of the 2019 season, remains upbeat that his team can challenge for race glory this weekend, particularly after his victory in Mexico last time out.
“We have a decent car but are three tenths off,” Ricciardo reflected. “And Mercedes and Ferrari will probably turn up the power tomorrow.”