Pascal Wehrlein topped the timetables in Bern’s FP2 session, leading a close field with the top five slotting into a gap of only 1.1 seconds. Drivers struggled with the track limits, while traffic played a factor in the session.
Wehrlein led at the 20 minute mark in the Mahindra Racing, from Edoardo Mortara and Lucas di Grassi, although no runs had yet been done in full qualifying mode. Alex Lynn found himself struggling for track time, with only four laps banked before spending time in the pits, while the NIO and Envision Virgin Racing cars of Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird found themselves at the foot of the order.
The Attack Mode zone, placed in the middle of one of Bern’s straights, looks set to be much less of a disadvantage than at other tracks, which could change the dynamic for usage from the carnage had at previous circuits.
Antonio Felix da Costa and Mitch Evans finally ousted Wehrlein near the 10 minute mark, da Costa setting a 1.19.466, 0.674s faster than Evans and laying down a potential marker for a strong weekend. The DS Techeetah cars of Jean-Eric Vergne and Andre Lotterer struggled in 11th and 18th, but had runs still to come.
Oliver Rowland clipped the wall coming into the final 10 minutes, brushing his way towards a timed lap and getting away with the contact. Lynn, despite his glaring lack of track time, managed to put in a lap good enough for tenth place, some way behind teammate Evans but impressive nonetheless.
Gary Paffett went down into the escape road and brought out a yellow flag – it lasted all of a few seconds though, with an expertly skilled u-turn saving precious time. Felipe Massa complained of traffic, while Maximilian Günther took to the escape road, but with his time being disallowed for going down the escape route without slowing.
Dillmann was next to venture down the escape road, ruining di Grassi’s lap and finding himself under investigation along with Günther. The end of the session was topped by Wehrlein on a 1.19.118s, ahead of Lotterer and Vergne, who got back up to speed in the DS Techeetahs ahead of Rowland and Robin Frijns.