Sergio Perez topped the timesheet of the second practice session ahead of the 2021 USGP. The Red Bull Racing driver was followed by McLaren driver Lando Norris who classified second fastest, and Lewis Hamilton who classified third fastest.
Perez’s fastest lap was clocked at 1 minute 34.946 seconds on the soft tyre compound. Norris’ fastest lap was 0.257 seconds adrift Perez’s quickest. On the other hand, Hamilton’s fastest lap was 0.364 seconds slower than the Mexican and a tenth away from Norris’ pace.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who has been penalized with a grid penalty for an engine change ahead of the USGP, clocked the fourth fastest lap of the session. The two Mercedes drivers were split by a narrow margin of 0.05 seconds.
Hamilton’s fastest lap, which was deleted, was only 0.1 seconds quicker than the rest. So Mercedes’ overall performance in FP2 was not a pace-dominating show like in FP1, earlier in the day.
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo clocked the fifth fastest lap of the session, an improvement from his FP1 classification of 16th. The Australian was followed by Lance Stroll, who classified sixth in the session.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc clocked the seventh fastest time while his team-mate Carlos Sainz clocked the ninth fastest time. Ferrari drivers were split by a margin of 0.347 seconds. Sandwiched between the two Ferraris was Max Verstappen, classified eighth in FP2 ahead of the USGP.
When Verstappen attempted his qualifying simulation laps, his quickest lap had to be aborted as he was hindered by Hamilton. The duo went wheel-to-wheel on the track, only to leave the Dutchman frustrated. The Red Bull Racing driver eventually aborted his lap and ditched his set of soft tires, switching to medium tires for race simulations.
Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi classified tenth to round up the top 10 fastest of the FP2 session ahead of the USGP. The Italian was a place down from his FP1 result, which was ninth.
The second free practice session of the USGP involved a few qualifying simulation runs and mostly long race simulation runs. Most drivers had their fastest lap times deleted for violating track limits, while some had to abort their sprint laps as they were impeded by traffic.
Due to the shortened FP2 session and larger focus on long runs by most teams, the current classification might not be an accurate representation of the pecking order in qualifying. The FP3 ahead of the qualifying session of the USGP should be a stronger indicator of what to expect.
The full classification of the USGP FP2 results ahead of qualifying is as follows :