It was Charles Leclerc to the fore for the second time today, his 1m19.670s the fastest lap for the #16 Ferrari.
George Russell (0.117s behind) and Lewis Hamilton (0.204s behind) rounded out the top three in a much more encouraging day for Mercedes.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was 4th in the #55 Ferrari, while Max Verstappen rounded out the top-5 in the #1 Red Bull, 0.336s off the pace. Is he sandbagging, or has Ferrari and Mercedes got the Red Bull’s number this weekend?
Fernando Alonso was 6th quick for Alpine and looking very strong on race simulation runs.
So that’s that for Friday practice in Spain, plenty for Ferrari to be happy about, and Mercedes too. As for Red Bull, their pace remains a slight mystery – but they do so often ramp things up on a Saturday when they need to.
Leclerc will be sitting pretty overnight, while Sainz will need to do some head scratching to work out how he can close the gap to his teammate. There wasn’t much in it in FP1, but the gap widened in FP2 and the Spaniard will want to put a stop to that, especially given he is racing at home and in need of a strong result to ensure he remains in the title fight.
As for Mercedes, they had an encouraging Friday in Miami and they have done likewise here. But can they translate this into good qualifying grid slots tomorrow? Russell seems to have the edge on Hamilton, which is interesting, given how strong the seven-time world champion has been at this track.
Hamilton has six wins and six poles here at what was a real Silver Arrows stronghold, but now he has a teammate that appears to have his number.
Mercedes chased the set-up in Miami, losing FP3 as they took a wrong direction and then playing catch up for qualifying. They will have learned from that experience, but whether they can live with Ferrari and Red Bull who will turn things up for qualifying…
Practice 2 Results
|1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1m19.670s||+0.000s|
|2||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas||1m19.787s||+0.117|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas||1m19.874s||+0.204|
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1m19.990s||+0.320|
|5||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m20.006s||+0.336|
|6||Fernando Alonso||ESP||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m20.203s||+0.533|
|7||Sergio Perez||MEX||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m20.632s||+0.962|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant||1m20.703s||+1.033|
|9||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m20.745s||+1.075|
|10||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas F1 Team||1m20.757s||+1.087|
|11||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m20.917s||+1.247|
|12||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1m21.013s||+1.343|
|13||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant||1m21.249s||+1.579|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m21.285s||+1.615|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m21.385s||+1.715|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m21.828s|
|17||Guanyu Zhou||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m21.866s||+2.196|
|18||Alexander Albon||THA||Williams Racing||1m22.319s||+2.649|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1m23.197s||+3.527|
|20||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m23.388s||+3.718|