Spain, FP2: Leclerc continues to set the pace in Barcelona

Ahead of Russell and Hamilton


By Olivier Ferret

20 May 2022 - 18:09
Spain, FP2: Leclerc continues to (...)

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc continued to set the pace in practice for Sunday’s FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix as Mercedes made progress with George Hamilton second ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Current championship leader Leclerc’s qualifying simulation left him with a time of 1:19.670s. That left him 0.117 clear of Russell, while Hamilton finished just under a tenth of a second behind his young team-mate. Home hero Carlos Sainz took fourth place ahead of defending champion Max Verstappen.

The session got off to a busy start with drivers initially using the medium and hard compound tyres. It was an opportunity for Williams’ Alex Albon and Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez to get their first taste of the conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after they sat out the morning session to make way for FP1 debutants, Nyck de Vries and Juri Vips.

The running was restricted just after the 10-minute mark, however, when Valtteri Bottas suddenly slowed on the pit straight and he stopped at the edge of the track in Turn 1.

Running resumed after several minutes and the field then made the switch to soft tyres for qualifying sims as the first third of the session expired.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was the first to bolt on soft compound Pirelli tyres and he set a time of 1:20.703 in his heavily revised AMR22. He was swiftly ousted from top spot by Pérez, though the Red Bull driver was visibly slowed by traffic in the final sector.

World champion Max Verstappen then claimed top spot with a lap of 1:20.006s, seven tenths ahead of the rest of the field. Leclerc and Sainz then made their attempts, with the Monegasque driver stealing P1 while his Spanish team-mate took fourth place behind the Mercedes cars.

Fernando Alonso made it two Spanish drivers in the top six as he finished just under two tenths of a second behind Verstappen. Péez and Vettel slid to seventh and eighth respectively ahead of Esteban Ocon in the second Alpine and Mick Schumacher in the highest-placed Haas.

Pierre Gasly was 11th for AlphaTauri ahead of the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll. Yuki Tsunoda was 14th ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, while Bottas ended up 16th ahead of Alfa Romeo team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Albon pipped Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi to claim 18th and the timesheet was propped up by McLaren’s Lando Norris.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:19.670 29
02 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:19.787 27
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:19.874 26
04 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:19.990 31
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:20.006 27
06 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:20.203 26
07 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:20.632 30
08 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:20.703 31
09 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:20.745 27
10 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:20.757 25
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:20.917 28
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:21.013 24
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:21.249 32
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:21.285 29
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:21.385 22
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:21.828 3
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:21.866 30
18 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:22.319 31
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:23.197 25
20 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:23.388 6

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