FP2: Leclerc leads Verstappen in second Australian GP practice session
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in FP2 ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Scuderia team mate Carlos Sainz on Friday at the Australian Grand Prix.
Clouds unfurled over Albert Park for FP2 bringing a heightened but ultimately unrealised risk of rain. Medium-tyred runs came first, FP1 leader Sainz setting the early pace, before softs were equipped and Leclerc shot to P1.
Verstappen jumped to second with under 20 minutes left, his opening soft-tyred runs compromised by traffic, then a lock-up in Sector 3 before the Dutchman finally managed a more representative lap on worn tyres to finish 0.245s off Leclerc – and drop Sainz to third.
Alpine's Fernando Alonso put in a blistering lap to take P4 at Sergio Perez's expense, while Alonso's team mate Esteban Ocon was sixth – but three-tenths down on the two-time champion.
FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2022
Practice 2 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:18.978|
|2 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.245s|
|3 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.398s|
|4 Fernando Alonso ALO Alpine||+0.559s|
|5 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.680s|
Valtteri Bottas's medium tyre pace was strong but he dropped to seventh for Alfa Romeo when softs were equipped, finishing ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris. Norris's team mate Daniel Ricciardo managed P10 – AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly splitting the papaya-coloured cars on the leaderboard.
In P11 was Mercedes' George Russell while Lewis Hamilton took P13 for the constructors' champions, with Yuki Tsunoda putting his AlphaTauri between the pair.
Lance Stroll brought out the only red flag of the session when a piece of his Aston Martin's wheel cover flew off with 10 minutes remaining. The Canadian finished 14th ahead of Alfa Romeo's rookie Zhou Guanyu.
Kevin Magnussen took 16th having struggled for mileage in FP1. Williams' duo – Alex Albon in 17th and Nicholas Latifi in 19th – were split by Magnussen's Haas team mate Mick Schumacher in 18th.
Sebastian Vettel's FP1 session ended prematurely with smoke coming out of his AMR22 – the four-time champion turning fireman then scooter driver with a post-session lap of the circuit. Vettel didn't emerge for FP2 and therefore ended up 20th, without a time on the board – the team having had to replace his Mercedes power unit.
The 2022 Australian Grand Prix weekend continues on Saturday with FP3 at 1300 local time, before an all-important qualifying session at 1600 local time.
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