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FP2: Leclerc stays in front during second practice in Imola from Piastri and Tsunoda

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IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 17: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track during

Charles Leclerc ended Friday at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on top after setting the fastest lap during second practice, leading from Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda.

After an intriguing first practice session earlier in the day, Esteban Ocon led the pack out as FP2 got under way at 1700 local time, with much of the field heading out to put some early laps on the board.

READ MORE: FP1: Leclerc leads Russell and Sainz during first practice in Imola as Albon brings out red flags

There was soon trouble for Nico Hulkenberg, who returned to the pits without setting a time after an issue with his Haas. Williams were also facing a slow start as both cars remained in the garage up on the stands.

Out on track, meanwhile, there was plenty of action. Fernando Alonso was unhappy to encounter a slow-moving Lewis Hamilton on the racing line, while Leclerc asked his engineer to check the steering on his Ferrari, despite slotting in at the top of the timesheets after the initial runs.

Emilia-Romagna 2024

Practice 2 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1LEC1:15.906
2PIA+0.192s
3TSU+0.38s
4HAM+0.391s
5RUS+0.405s
View Full Results

Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant eventually joined the fray more than 20 minutes in, just as most drivers had switched focus to their soft-shod fast laps. Leclerc managed to stay on top during these runs, having worked his way down to a 1m 15.906s.

Piastri was 0.192s behind for McLaren in P2, while Tsunoda – racing in front of RB’s home crowd – impressively went third fastest.

Elsewhere Max Verstappen continued to struggle with grip in the Red Bull before showing his frustration following a near-miss with Hamilton, despite the latter holding his hand up in apology.

PADDOCK INSIDER: 'We don’t give up' – Why a Ferrari victory in Imola is no longer a pipe dream

As the session entered its final quarter and a mixture of run plans played out, Leclerc, Piastri and Tsunoda held position in the top three, though Tsunoda will be investigated after the session for a potential practice start infringement.

Hamilton claimed P4 ahead of Mercedes team mate George Russell in P5, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz took P6. Verstappen ended the session down in P7, with his difficult hour compounded by a run across the gravel during the final minutes.

The Dutchman led from fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, who sparked an irritated response from Leclerc in the latter stages after appearing to move slowly on the racing line.

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 17: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing

Verstappen did not sound entirely happy with his Red Bull during second practice in Imola

Hulkenberg was the lead Haas in ninth despite his slow start to the hour, ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in 10th, while Daniel Ricciardo went 11th fastest in the RB and McLaren’s Lando Norris followed in 12th.

Lance Stroll slotted into 13th for Aston Martin – one of several teams to be running upgrades this weekend – followed by the Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly in 14th and 15th respectively.

NEED TO KNOW: The most important facts, stats and trivia ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas was P16 for Kick Sauber, while Kevin Magnussen went P17 after sitting out FP1 to allow Oliver Bearman to run in his Haas. Albon and Sargeant ended a tough day for Williams in P18 and P20, with the Kick Sauber of Zhou Guanyu sandwiched between them in P19.

With the opening day of track action now complete, the drivers and teams will look over their data before returning to the circuit for the third and final practice session on Saturday at 1230 local time, ahead of qualifying later in the afternoon.

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