F1: Leclerc tops Spanish GP Practice 2

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.

George Russell 2nd quick – LAT Images 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.

Fernando Alonso

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


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