FP2: Russell fastest over Perez and Leclerc in final practice before Imola Sprint

IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 22: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

Mercedes’ George Russell set the pace in second practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as teams focused on gathering long-run data for the main race on Sunday.

The Briton, who sits second in the drivers’ standings, clocked 1m 19.457s on the softs, 0.081s quicker than the Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with championship leader Charles Leclerc a couple of tenths further back in third.

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As this is a F1 Sprint weekend, there are only two one-hour practice sessions, the second of which takes place on Saturday morning. With teams focusing on one-lap pace in the Friday session, FP2 is dedicated to high fuel runs and cycling through the three Pirelli compounds to gather data.

FP2 was even more important at Imola given conditions were warm and dry, a significant improvement on Friday – where wet weather affected both first practice and qualifying.

Emilia-Romagna 2022

Practice 2 results

PositionTeam NameTime
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Lewis Hamilton made it two Mercedes drivers in the top-four, with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso matching his Sprint grid spot with fifth.

Carlos Sainz, who crashed in qualifying and will start the F1 Sprint 10th, was sixth in his refurbished Ferrari, a tenth of a second clear of pole-sitter Max Verstappen.

READ MORE: Haas boss Steiner says he wants drivers to 'go for it' and take 'calculated risks' in Sprint

AlphaTauri had got both cars in the top 10 for FP2 their home race, which is located just 20-minutes’ drive from their factory, with Yuki Tsunoda eighth and Pierre Gasly ninth – as Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu completed the top 10.

It wasn’t such good news for Zhou’s team mate Valtteri Bottas, the Finn spending the entire session in the garage and thus failing to set a lap time.

This was also the case for Daniel Ricciardo, whose McLaren team discovered a mechanical issue with his car and were unable to fix it in time to get him out on track.

FP2 Highlights: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

There was frustration on the other side of the garage, too, as while Lando Norris – who starts the F1 Sprint third – was able to get out and about early on, a brake issue meant he was unable to set a meaningful lap time.

Alex Albon was an encouraging 11th in the leading Williams, ahead of the Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher with Aston Martin pairing Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel 14th and 15th respectively.

READ MORE: Vettel maintains team 'spirit is unbroken' despite Aston Martin's point-less start to 2022

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon was down in 16th, a tenth clear of Williams' Nicholas Latifi, with Norris the last of those to set a lap time.

The first F1 Sprint of 2022 takes place at 1630 local time, with eight points on offer for the winner, down to one for the driver who finishes eighth. That classification will then define the order for Sunday’s main event – the Grand Prix. Visit our RACE HUB to find out how and when to watch it where you are.

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