FP2: Russell fastest in second practice as Leclerc crashes out

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Mexico, Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguezmx

Mercedes driver George Russell set the fastest lap time in the second practice session for the Mexico City Grand Prix as Formula One's sole tyre supplier conducted another blind tyre test in preparation for the 2023 season.

Weather conditions were sunny in the early afternoon but then overcast for Free Practice 2, peaking at 28 degrees centigrade ambient and 42 degrees on track during the first part of the session before significantly decreasing in the second half to 34 degrees.

The afternoon practice session was extended by thirty minutes from the usual 60 to 90 minutes as Pirelli continued its 2023 tyre testing that it started in Austin last weekend.

It meant that the majority of the drivers spent the second session by conducting evaluation of Pirelli’s prototype tyres with only five drivers who handed their cars over to young drivers in the first session having access to Pirelli’s conventional 2022 tyres.

It was no surprise that the fastest time of the day was recorded on the 2022 P Zero Red soft tyres, with Mercedes driver George Russell setting a best FP2 time of 1m19.970 seconds.

Asked for his expectations after the first day of practice, Russell said: “I’d like to think it’s definitely [a] podium [that’s] possible, at least. It’s probably one of, if not our best Friday of the year.”

His team mate Lewis Hamilton ended the day in fourth position. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon finished between the two Mercedes drivers with both of them using Pirelli’s red-walled soft tyres.

Red Bull’s duo of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen took fifth and sixth respectively, followed by the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

It was a messy day for the Monegasque as he lost valuable time in Free Practice 1 after suffering a puncture on his second lap. The second session turned out to be an even more difficult practice as Leclerc lost control of his Ferrari at the entry to the high-speed Turn 7 and dramatically slid backwards into the barriers on the outside of Turn 8. The back end of his Ferrari suffered significant damage, and the session was red-flagged as the barriers also needed to be repaired.

The five-time grand prix winner hopes that the incident will not derail his weekend: “We tried something on my car which I didn’t particularly like, so I wasn’t as much at ease with the car than I was in FP1, but I know what to do for tomorrow, so [I’m] confident that the performance will be there.”


163George RussellMercedes1:19.97032
222Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:20.798+0.828s30
331Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:21.177+1.207s31
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:21.509+1.539s32
511Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:21.579+1.609s34
61Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:21.588+1.618s34
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:21.618+1.648s13
855Carlos SainzFerrari1:21.693+1.723s34
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:21.993+2.023s36
1010Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:22.104+2.134s36
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:22.337+2.367s31
125Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:22.371+2.401s32
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:22.447+2.477s24
144Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:22.738+2.768s31
153Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:22.763+2.793s27
1618Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:22.840+2.870s23
1747Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:22.879+2.909s31
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:23.316+3.346s21
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:23.320+3.350s34
2024Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:23.369+3.399s34