Valtteri Bottas (14/1 Hungarian GP Race Winner) topped the timesheets during Practice Two for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday, finishing ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen.

It was an impressive showing from Bottas, who posted a fastest lap of 1:17.012 to finish 0.027 seconds ahead of Hamilton (11/8 Hungarian GP Race Winner), while Verstappen (10/11), who set the pace during Friday’s opening Practice session, was 0.298 seconds off the Finn’s time.

Bottas (10/1 Fastest Qualifier) was certainly pleased with his afternoon’s work and he believes Mercedes are well placed to challenge for pole during Saturday’s qualifying session.

“It’s not a bad start for us. It’s good to see that most likely we’re going to be in the fight for the pole, so that’s really motivating,” the 31-year-old told reporters.

It proved a frustrating afternoon for Verstappen (8/11 Fastest Qualifier), who holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings, as the Red Bull driver complained over his radio that his RB16 car was “so understeery it’s incredible”.

Alpine enjoyed a strong afternoon at the Hungaroring, with Esteban Ocon coming in fourth quickest during Practice Two, while Fernando Alonso was seventh, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri sandwiched between the pair.

The second AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda was only able to get back on the track for a solitary flying lap at the end of the session following a crash during Practice One, while it was not a great day for Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr both finishing outside the top 10.

Practice Three for the Hungarian Grand Prix will get underway at 11am on Saturday followed by qualifying at 2pm.

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