F1 – Leclerc continues to set the pace in Barcelona ahead of Russell and Hamilton
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc continued to set the pace in practice for Sunday’s FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes made progress with George Hamilton second ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Current championship leader Leclerc’s qualifying simulation left him with a time of 1:19.670s. That left him 0.117 clear of Russell, while Hamilton finished just under a tenth of a second behind his young team-mate. Home hero Carlos Sainz took fourth place ahead of defending champion Max Verstappen.
The session got off to a busy start with drivers initially using the medium and hard compound tyres. It was an opportunity for Williams’ Alex Albon and Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez to get their first taste of the conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after they sat out the morning session to make way for FP1 debutants, Nyck de Vries and Juri Vips.
The running was restricted just after the 10-minute mark, however, when Valtteri Bottas suddenly slowed on the pit straight and he stopped at the edge of the track in Turn 1.
Running resumed after several minutes and the field then made the switch to soft tyres for qualifying sims as the first third of the session expired.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was the first to bolt on soft compound Pirelli tyres and he set a time of 1:20.703 in his heavily revised AMR22. He was swiftly ousted from top spot by Pérez, though the Red Bull driver was visibly slowed by traffic in the final sector.
World champion Max Verstappen then claimed top spot with a lap of 1:20.006s, seven tenths ahead of the rest of the field. Leclerc and Sainz then made their attempts, with the Monegasque driver stealing P1 while his Spanish team-mate took fourth place behind the Mercedes cars.
Fernando Alonso made it two Spanish drivers in the top six as he finished just under two tenths of a second behind Verstappen. Péez and Vettel slid to seventh and eighth respectively ahead of Esteban Ocon in the second Alpine and Mick Schumacher in the highest-placed Haas.
Pierre Gasly was 11th for AlphaTauri ahead of the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll. Yuki Tsunoda was 14th ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, while Bottas ended up 16th ahead of Alfa Romeo team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Albon pipped Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi to claim 18th and the timesheet was propped up by McLaren’s Lando Norris.
2022 FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 29 11:19.670
2 George Russell Mercedes 27 11:19.787 0.117
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 26 11:19.874 0.204
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 31 11:19.990 0.320
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 27 11:20.006 0.336
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine 26 11:20.203 0.533
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 30 11:20.632 0.962
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 31 11:20.703 1.033
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine 27 11:20.745 1.075
10 Mick Schumacher Haas 25 11:20.757 1.087
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 28 11:20.917 1.247
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 24 11:21.013 1.343
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 32 11:21.249 1.579
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 29 11:21.285 1.615
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 22 11:21.385 1.715
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 3 11:21.828 2.158
17 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 30 11:21.866 2.196
18 Alex Albon Williams 31 11:22.319 2.649
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 25 11:23.197 3.527
20 Lando Norris McLaren 6 1:23.388 3.718
Source : Fia