Jeddah, FP2: Leclerc continues to set the pace in delayed 2nd practice

Verstappen 2nd, Sainz 3rd

By Franck Drui

25 March 2022 - 19:24
Jeddah, FP2: Leclerc continues to (...)

Charles Leclerc repeated his timesheet-topping efforts of FP1 by setting the fastest lap of the second practice session for this weekend’s FIA Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating world champion Max Verstappen by a little over a tenth of a second. However, the Ferrari driver did not take part in the latter stages of the session following a brush with the walls at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The start of FP2 was delayed following an emergency meeting of organisers, teams and drivers as a result of an earlier explosion at an Aramco oil facility close to the circuit for which Yemeni rebel group Houthi alter claimed responsibility. Formula 1 later confirmed that the session and the event would go ahead, saying: "F1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation."

The start of FP2 was delayed by 15 minutes and when the lights went green Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and team-mate Zhou Guanyu were first on track. Bottas set the early benchmark at 1:31.802 on C3 medium tyres before Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz used medium tyres to claim top spot with a lap of 1:31.382. Leclerc the bumped his team-mate to P2 with a lap of 1:30.216.

Red Bull then joined the action and though it took him some time to reach the top, Verstappen eventually deposed Leclerc with a lap just two thousandths quicker than the Ferrari man.

The field then made the switch to C4 soft tyres and Leclerc jumped back to first place with a lap of 1:30.074. The left him ahead of Verstappen, Sainz and the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton took fifth, ahead of his Mercedes counterpart George Russell. Hamilton posted a lap of 1:30.513. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen then ground to a halt, stopping with a power unit issue halfway round the lap.

Leclerc’s brush with the wall came after his soft tyre efforts and occurred when he clipped the inside wall in Turn 4. He damaged the front-left track rod of his F1-75 but was able to limp back to the pit lane for repairs. Sainz also scraped the barriers Turn 13 late on.

Lando Norris took seventh place for McLaren ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Bottas , while Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top ten for AlphaTauri.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:30.074 15
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:30.214 23
03 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:30.320 12
04 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:30.360 24
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:30.513 24
06 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:30.664 29
07 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:30.735 26
08 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:30.760 26
09 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:30.832 14
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:30.886 26
11 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:30.944 27
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:30.963 29
13 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:31.169 27
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:31.372 28
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:31.527 23
16 Nico Hülkenberg Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:31.615 30
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:31.615 27
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:31.814 26
19 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:31.866 29
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:32.344 13


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