FP2: Leclerc tops incident-filled evening session as Mercedes gains momentum

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Street Circuitsa

After his brilliant win at last weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc topped the second practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating Red Bull's Max Verstappen and his team mate Carlos Sainz.

The Monegasque, who went quickest in opening practice at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, clocked a 1m30.074s to finish 0.140s clear of his big rival from the last weekend. However, things did not run completely smoothly for the three-time grand prix winner as Leclerc hit the wall at Turn 4 which forced him to limp back to the pits.

The incident meant that he was unable to complete long runs in the critical final minutes of the session. His team mate Carlos Sainz presented himself in a better form than in Bahrain, running closer to Leclerc with the Spaniard ending up third fastest on the medium compound.

Similar to Leclerc, Sainz also had a kiss with the wall in the final part of the session. Although he could crawl back to the pits, the Madrid-born also needed to climb out of his car to allow his team to inspect his F1-75.

Verstappen seemed to be the quickest after the medium tyre runs, but he was beaten by Leclerc who used Pirelli’s softest compound for his fastest lap. The Dutchman was unable to benefit from the softer tyres as his qualifying simulation run was hampered by a virtual safety car period triggered by Kevin Magnussen who stopped on the track with a suspected power unit issue.

The two Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were far away from the Red Bull and Ferrari at the start of the session, but showed an improved performance as the temperatures dropped. Both drivers managed to set competitive lap times on the red-walled tyres with Hamilton and Russell finishing fifth and sixth fastest respectively.

McLaren presented itself in a much more improved form after its dismal showing last time out in Bahrain. Lando Norris ended up seventh after his soft tyre run while his team mate Daniel Ricciardo finished the session in P15. After earning points with both their cars in Bahrain, Alpine found themselves at the front of the midfield with Esteban Ocon taking P8. The Frenchman had the edge over his team mate Fernando Alonso, who ended up P11.

With Sebastian Vettel still unable to join the action in 2022, Nico Hulkenberg stood in once again for the German. The Emmerich-born driver ended up P16 with his team mate Lance Stroll finishing P14.

Mick Schumacher finished a solid 13th in the Haas, but the American team continued to suffer from reliability issues as his team mate Kevin Magnussen needed to switch off his car due to a hydraulic failure.


116Charles LeclercFerrari1:30.07415
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:30.214+0.140s23
355Carlos SainzFerrari1:30.320+0.246s12
411Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:30.360+0.286s24
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:30.513+0.439s24
663George RussellMercedes1:30.664+0.590s29
74Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:30.735+0.661s26
831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:30.760+0.686s26
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:30.832+0.758s14
1022Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:30.886+0.812s26
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:30.944+0.870s27
1210Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:30.963+0.889s29
1347Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:31.169+1.095s27
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:31.372+1.298s28
153Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:31.527+1.453s23
1627Nico HulkenbergAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:31.615+1.541s30
1724Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:31.615+1.541s27
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:31.814+1.740s26
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:31.866+1.792s29
2020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:32.344+2.270s13