FP2: Leclerc heads Red Bulls by over 0.2s in second Baku practice session
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led the Red Bulls of FP1 leader Sergio Perez and championship leader Max Verstappen in second practice for the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Early medium-tyred efforts saw Leclerc go fastest with a 1m 43.806s, Verstappen trailing by just 0.030s despite spending the first 15 minutes of FP2 in the garage with works undertaken on his rear wing and DRS actuator.
Softs came out after 30 minutes and Leclerc improved to a time of 1m 43.224s before going off and avoiding the walls at Turn 7. He wasn’t the only one to make a mistake on a challenging, gusty afternoon at Baku – nor was he the only one to endure heavy porpoising on the main straight.
FP1: Perez leads Leclerc and Verstappen in opening Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice session
Perez improved to go within 0.248s of Leclerc in P2 but an off-track excursion in Sector 3 saw him bring out a yellow flag and compromise team mate Verstappen’s first effort to set a soft-tyred lap. The Dutchman then improved to go 0.356s behind Leclerc in third.
Carlos Sainz aborted his first soft-tyred run and settled for P5 as his medium-tyred benchmark stood – compatriot Fernando Alonso taking P4 for Alpine having nailed the third sector.
FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2022
Practice 2 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:43.224|
|2 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.248s|
|3 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.356s|
|4 Fernando Alonso ALO Alpine||+0.918s|
|5 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+1.050s|
Seventh-place Mercedes driver George Russell was bookended by AlphaTauris, Pierre Gasly two-tenths ahead in sixth and Yuki Tsunoda two-hundredths behind in eighth.
Esteban Ocon finished ninth for Alpine, just 0.042s behind Tsunoda, while Lando Norris rounded out the top 10 for McLaren, that team having begun FP2 on hards before the customary mid-session switch to softs. Team mate Daniel Ricciardo managed 14th in second practice.
The other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, 12th, found himself sandwiched by Aston Martins: Sebastian Vettel a tenth ahead in P11 – shrugging off a huge Turn 1 lock-up early on – and Lance Stroll 13th having set the same time as Hamilton.
READ MORE: Perez says he has ‘good opportunity’ to win 2022 title after signing Red Bull contract extension
The Alfa Romeos occupied 15th and 16th, Valtteri Bottas two-tenths ahead of Zhou Guanyu, while Kevin Magnussen was another 0.3s off in P17 for Haas.
Williams swapped from mediums to softs earliest out of the field but 18th-place Alex Albon spent most of this session in the garage having tapped the barriers to damage his front-left suspension.
READ MORE: ‘Part of me loves it’ – Ricciardo says he has ‘no issue’ with speculation over current form as he looks to hit back in Baku
After a water leak curtailed his running in FP1, Mick Schumacher had plenty of work to do in this session. The Haas driver ended up 19th having focused on long runs, leaving Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in last and P20.
FP3 follows at 1500 local time on Saturday before qualifying for the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix at 1800. Head to the RACE HUB for more information on how to catch the action.
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