FP2: Leclerc tops extended practice session in Austin as drivers test 2023 Pirelli tyres
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc posted the fastest time in FP2 for the 2022 United States Grand Prix – this session lengthened from 60 to 90 minutes for Pirelli’s prototype 2023 tyre test.
Leclerc clocked a 1m 36.810s during an early stint on the 2022-spec medium tyre, having been allowed to run his own programme at the start of the session after sitting out FP1.
With weather conditions hot and sunny at the Circuit of The Americas, it proved to be an ideal session for Pirelli to gather representative data on their work-in-progress compounds prior to a planned post-season test for the definitive versions in Abu Dhabi.
Alongside Leclerc and Ferrari, several other drivers and teams conducted bespoke programmes for a portion of FP2 before focusing on the tyre test, with McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas also given dispensation for running ‘rookie’ drivers in FP1.
FORMULA 1 ARAMCO UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 2022
United States 2022
Practice 2 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:36.810|
|2 Valtteri Bottas BOT Alfa Romeo||+0.715s|
|3 Daniel Ricciardo RIC McLaren||+0.817s|
|4 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+1.422s|
|5 Mick Schumacher MSC Haas F1 Team||+2.697s|
Indeed, FP2 marked the first laps of the weekend for Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Nicholas Latifi and Kevin Magnussen – the latter looking to recover lost mileage at Haas after Antonio Giovinazzi’s crash in the opening session.
Behind Leclerc, Bottas and Ricciardo made use of the 2022-spec soft compound en route to P2 and P3 for Alfa Romeo and McLaren respectively, the pair finishing over seven tenths away from the Monegasque’s benchmark.
FP1 pace-setter Carlos Sainz led the pack of drivers restricted to prescribed runs (which included set stint lengths and fuel loads) on the unmarked Pirelli tyres, ending up around 1.5s adrift, with Mick Schumacher completing the top five for Haas.
Lando Norris took sixth in the other McLaren, narrowly avoiding the wall after a wild slide at the pit entry, followed by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez were the final drivers to lap under the 1m 40s barrier in ninth and 10th respectively, with the aforementioned Magnussen placing 11th in his repaired VF-22.
George Russell was almost a second down on team mate Hamilton in 13th, splitting the other AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo machines of Yuki Tsunoda and Zhou Guanyu, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll dropping from P4 in FP1 to P15 in FP2.
Alpine team mates Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso wound up 16th and 17th, the only moment of drama for the team coming when Alonso got stuck behind Hamilton on an early run and lamented over the radio that his rival “has no mirrors today”.
At the back, Williams drivers Alex Albon and Latifi sandwiched Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin – the field covered by 5.5 seconds around the 5.513km Austin venue.
Free Practice 3 begins at 1400 local time on Saturday before qualifying at 1700. Head to the RACE HUB to see how and when you can catch the action from Austin.
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