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.
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:30.214||+0.140s||23|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:30.360||+0.286s||24|
|7||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:30.735||+0.661s||26|
|8||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:30.760||+0.686s||26|
|9||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:30.832||+0.758s||14|
|10||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:30.886||+0.812s||26|
|11||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:30.944||+0.870s||27|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:30.963||+0.889s||29|
|13||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:31.169||+1.095s||27|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:31.372||+1.298s||28|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:31.527||+1.453s||23|
|16||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:31.615||+1.541s||30|
|17||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:31.615||+1.541s||27|
|18||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:31.814||+1.740s||26|
|19||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:31.866||+1.792s||29|
|20||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:32.344||+2.270s||13|