France, FP2: Sainz keeps Ferrari on top at Paul Ricard

Leclerc 2nd, Verstappen 3rd

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By Olivier Ferret

22 July 2022 - 18:12
France, FP2: Sainz keeps Ferrari on (...)

Carlos Sainz gave Ferrari a Friday practice one-two as he beat team-mate Charles Leclerc, the fastest man in the opening session, to the top of the timesheet in second practice for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

In the opening exchanges Fernando Alonso set the pace thanks to an early lap of 1:35.531 set on medium compound tyres. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Mercedes’ George Russell then took turns at the top before Leclerc appeared for the first time with 15 minutes gone and immediately jumped to the top of the order with a lap of 1:34.182.

Verstappen then emerged and he too laid down a marker with his first flying lap of the late afternoon, stopping the watch with a lap of 1:34.172, also on medium tyres. Sainz, though, then took to the track on red-banded soft tyres and he took P1 with a lap of 1:33.322.

After a brief spell in the pit lane, Leclerc then returned to the action on softs and he moved ahead of team-mate Sainz with a lap of 1:33.136.

Sainz wasn’t finished, however, and after minor adjustments in the pit lane he went back out on the same set of soft tyres and powered past Leclerc’s time by more than half a second thanks to a new benchmark of 1:32.527.

Verstappen, suffering with understeer, couldn’t match the pace of the Ferrari drivers and his best effort on softs left him 0.550s off Sainz’s pace.

Leclerc, though, was able to find more time and matching the strategy of his team-mate he made a brief visit to the pit lane for tweaks before running again. And this time the Monegasque driver delivered a session-best first sector before fading slightly later in the lap to set a best time of 1:32.628, 0.101 off the Spaniard.

With Verstappen third, fourth place went to Mercedes’ George Russell, who ran a little over a tenth quicker than team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was left with fifth place at the end of the session.

After finishing seventh in the opening session, McLaren’s Lando Norris gained a place in the late afternoon, beating AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly who slipped from fifth in the morning to seventh in the second session, three tenths of a second behind Norris and 1.3s off Sainz’s P1 pace. Magnussen finished in eight place for Haas, while Daniel Ricciardo took ninth place in the second McLaren. The top 10 was rounded out by Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez Red Bull. The Mexican spent some time in the garage as his team remedied set-up issues and he ended a difficult day 1.5s off Sainz and almost a second off team-mate Verstappen.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:32.527 22
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:32.628 22
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:33.077 17
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:33.291 20
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:33.517 23
06 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:33.607 21
07 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:33.906 24
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:33.928 24
09 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:36.984 23
10 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:34.060 16
11 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:34.259 24
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:34.264 27
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:34.420 27
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:34.540 24
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:34.595 26
16 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:34.653 23
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:34.654 26
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:34.660 26
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:35.195 22
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:35.412 27

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