Verstappen quickest in second practice despite hitting trouble
German Grand Prix - FP2

Verstappen quickest in second practice despite hitting trouble

Max Verstappen kept Red Bull top of the order in second practice despite hitting trouble during the session.

Verstappen continued the good work started by teammate Daniel Ricciardo in FP1, who had gone quickest on Friday morning. In FP2, Verstappen's 1:13.085 was enough to lead the way, although he missed much of the final 45 minutes after encountering an issue with his engine. He returned in the final minutes of the session, easing Red Bull fears of serving another penalty later in the weekend. Ricciardo is already set to start from the back of the grid after exceeding the number of certain engine components allowed in the regulations.

Explaining the issue after the session, Verstappen said: "We found out we had a little oil leak so we had to repair it, that's why I went out at the end again to check everything and it was fine."

As he was in opening practice, Hamilton finished second, 0.026s behind Verstappen -- he had been 0.004s off Ricciardo's earlier benchmark. The reigning world champion ran wide at Turn 1 on his quickest lap, suggesting he could have found the time to overhaul Verstappen's benchmark with a clean attempt. Valtteri Bottas was 0.1s behind his teammate in third.

Ferrari continued its rather quiet Friday, with championship leader Sebastian Vettel finishing fourth, 0.225s off Verstappen's benchmark. Kimi Raikkonen was a further tenth of a second behind him. Headline times rarely paint the full picture ahead of qualifying and this year Ferrari has made a habit of unleashing its true potential later in the week, so the red cars should be expected to be in the hunt for pole on Saturday afternoon.

Once again, Romain Grosjean was best of the rest ahead of Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen. Sauber's Charles Leclerc was eighth, ahead of Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Force India pair Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez. After missing the majority of FP1 due to a coolant leak in his Renault, Carlos Sainz accumulated 43 laps.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished the session in 13th having not attempted a proper qualifying simulation. Given his impending grid penalty it is likely the team turned its attention towards finding a set-up beneficial for attacking from the back of the field on Sunday afternoon.

Marcus Ericsson was 14th for Sauber, ahead of Toro Rosso pair Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley. The bottom spots of the afternoon were reserved for McLaren and Williams. Fernando Alonso finished 17th ahead of the Williams drivers, Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, while the under-pressure Stoffel Vandoorne rounded out the order in 20th.

Related news

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

M-Sport's Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville with a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez took victory in MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, passing chief rival Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to take a step closer to the 2018 championship crown.

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second

World Rally Championship title hopeful Ott Tanak has extended his Rally GB lead on Saturday morning, while Sebastien Ogier continued to jump up the order after a troubled Friday.

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying

Valentino Rossi narrowly missed out on his second pole of the season on Saturday, coming in second just 0.011 of a second behind Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez in qualifying for the Thailand Grand Prix.

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Japan as Ferrari made yet another costly blunder, this time misjudging the weather conditions in Q3 and leaving Sebastian Vettel on the wrong tyres.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap

Sebastian Vettel closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.116s off his title rival.

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice

Lewis Hamilton has capped off a dominant day for Mercedes at Suzuka by topping the timesheets in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles

It looks as though Lewis Hamilton will once again be the man to beat after comfortably topping the opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix as title-rival Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace.

RELATED NEWS

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead
Rally Great Britain

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

M-Sport's Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville with a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle
Thailand Grand Prix

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez took victory in MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, passing chief rival Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to take a step closer to the 2018 championship crown.

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth
Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second
Rally GB

Tanak extends Rally GB lead, Ogier in second

World Rally Championship title hopeful Ott Tanak has extended his Rally GB lead on Saturday morning, while Sebastien Ogier continued to jump up the order after a troubled Friday.

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying
Thailand Grand Prix - Qualifying

Valentino Rossi misses out on top spot to Marquez in Thailand Grand Prix qualifying

Valentino Rossi narrowly missed out on his second pole of the season on Saturday, coming in second just 0.011 of a second behind Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez in qualifying for the Thailand Grand Prix.

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder
Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Japan as Ferrari made yet another costly blunder, this time misjudging the weather conditions in Q3 and leaving Sebastian Vettel on the wrong tyres.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap
Japanese Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap

Sebastian Vettel closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.116s off his title rival.

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice
Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice

Lewis Hamilton has capped off a dominant day for Mercedes at Suzuka by topping the timesheets in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles
Japanese Grand Prix - FP1

Lewis Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles

It looks as though Lewis Hamilton will once again be the man to beat after comfortably topping the opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix as title-rival Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace.