FP2: Russell tops second practice as Mercedes shock rivals with improved car

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Mercedes driver George Russell set the fastest lap in the second practice for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, beating championship leader Charles Leclerc. Regining champion Max Verstappen was unable to set a single lap time due to reliability issues on his RB18.

After drivers were in a rush to take it to the track in the opening session, they took it cautiously in the second practice. The 60-minute session started with only 19 drivers prepared to hit the Miami International Autodrome as Alfa Romeo was unable to complete the repair job on Valtteri Bottas’ car, who crashed at Turn 7 in the opening practice. It meant that the Finn was forced to sit out the session and rely on the data his team mate Zhou Guanyu collected.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen was also hindered in his preparation for the weekend as his team needed to change the gearbox in his car. The Dutchman was able to join the action following a delay, but he was immediately forced to return to the pits with overheating rear brakes. Red Bull suggested that the problem was down to a hydraulic issue, which forced Verstappen to sit out the rest the session without completing a single timed lap.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz continued his own woes despite putting in great lap times in the early part of the session. The Spaniard lost control under braking as his SF-75 swapped ends and clattered the wall, causing the second red flag of the day and the first of two stoppages in FP2.

The second stoppage was brought out by Nicholas Latifi as the Canadian stopped at Turn 9 due to a loss of drive with 12 minutes left.

After snatching second place in the opening session, George Russell set the benchmark in the second practice with a 1m29.938 with championship leader Charles Leclerc just over a tenth of a second behind.

Sergio Perez ended the session third fastest, just pipping Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes. Despite languishing in the lower region of the field in FP1, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso bounced back in the afternoon to post the fifth fastest time.

McLaren also had a more promising session compared to their showing in the opening session with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo ending up 6th and 12th fastest.

Kevin Magnussen continued his impressive form with Haas, setting the 10th quickest lap, but his team mate Mick Schumacher was unable to go faster than 15th.

Sebastian Vettel managed P16 for Aston Martin while his team mate Lance Stroll took 16th. The two Williams cars rounded off the leaderboard with Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi taking 17th and 18th.


163George RussellMercedes1:29.93817
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:30.044+0.106s20
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:30.150+0.212s18
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:30.179+0.241s17
514Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:30.372+0.434s19
64Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:30.535+0.597s19
710Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:30.547+0.609s19
824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:30.860+0.922s23
931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:30.861+0.923s19
1020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:30.921+0.983s18
1155Carlos SainzFerrari1:30.964+1.026s9
123Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:31.208+1.270s22
1322Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:31.260+1.322s22
145Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:31.393+1.455s22
1547Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:31.587+1.649s20
1618Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:31.631+1.693s22
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:31.710+1.772s21
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:32.913+2.975s14
191Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1