Sainz leads Leclerc by 0.1s in second French GP practice session


Sainz leads in the second French GP practice session

Ferrari stamped their authority on the French Grand Prix weekend as Carlos Sainz beat teammate Charles Leclerc to the quickest time, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen more than 0.5s off the pace.

Before teams turned their attention to long runs and judging how long the tyres will last in warm conditions, they sent their respective drivers out on soft tyres and low fuel in the search of performance.

Sainz clocked a 1m 32.527s on the sixth lap on the same set of soft tyres to edge out Leclerc by 0.101s, however, he won’t be in the fight for pole after taking a new engine component that triggers a 10-place grid penalty.

The Ferrari duo made an improvement of between 0.8-1.0s when they moved from the medium tyres to the softest rubber.

Sainz French GP
Sainz French GP

Championship leader Verstappen complained of understeer in the first sector and, while he offered the greatest threat to the red cars, he wasn’t quick enough to give the Italian team too much cause for concern.

FORMULA 1 LENOVO GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 2022 – Practice 2 results

1  Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:32.527
2  Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.101s
3  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.550s
4  George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.764s
5  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.990s

Mercedes, running an updated package in France, continued their upward trajectory, with George Russell fourth best 0.76s off the pace, with Lewis Hamilton getting his first run of the weekend – having let reserve Nyck de Vries borrow his car in FP1 – fifth a couple of tenths further back.

Lando Norris, running McLaren’s sizeable update, was sixth – one second off the pace – with his team mate Daniel Ricciardo half a second back in ninth. Betyween them was the heavily updated AlphaTauri of home favourite Pierre Gasly and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, who made a big step in form from FP1 to FP2.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez left it late to do his soft tyre run but it wasn’t spectacular, the Mexican slotting into 10th, a second behind his team mate Verstappen.

Fernando Alonso was the leading Alpine in 11th, his team mate Esteban Ocon competing in his home grand prix down in 18th, with Valtteri Bottas getting his first running of the day after Robert Kubica used his Alfa Romeo in FP1. The Finn was 12th.

Sebastian Vettel was the lead Aston Martin in 13th, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda – who was given the AlphaTauri update for the second session after initial data gathering on Gasly’s car in FP1 was deemed a success.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was 15th, ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu.

Mick Schumacher flat-spotted a set of medium tyres when he ran wide at Turn 11 on the mediums and was 19th overall, as Nicholas Latifi running the updated Williams package for the first time, two races after Albon got it, propping up the timesheets.

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