Alpine's French driver Esteban Ocon set the pace ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez in the second and final practice session for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix ahead of the F1 Sprint. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 2 in Brazil.
Although parc ferme conditions kicked in at the start of yesterday’s qualifying session, drivers were eager to get mileage under their belt in preparation for today’s 24-lap Sprint and tomorrow’s 71-lap Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The first minutes saw Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull racer Sergio Perez dictate the pace around the 4.309km track that made its debut back in 1973.
However, Alpine sent Esteban Ocon out on to the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on a relatively fresh set of soft Pirelli tyres and on probably slightly lower fuel load on which the Frenchman capitalised on to set the benchmark of the session with a 1m14.604.
The Alpine driver was 0.184s faster than second-placed Perez’s Red Bull on Pirelli’s C4 tyres, with Mercedes’ George Russell 0.312s adrift in third place on the same compound. Fernando Alonso put his Alpine fourth ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
With a late effort, Pierre Gasly ended the session in P7, beating the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen. His team mate Yuki Tsunoda set the 12th fastest lap after a very difficult Friday that saw the Japanese driver struggle for grip both on dry and damp conditions.
Having been unwell on Thursday, Lando Norris turned out to be the faster McLaren driver, finishing tenth fastest with his team mate Daniel Ricciardo taking 14th.
Ferrari drivers appeared to struggle with tyre wear with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz completing a very long high fuel stint on the soft and the medium compound. The Monegasque ended the session in P13, two places behind his team mate.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel were the most diligent drivers by completing 42 and 43 laps respectively, but the failed to impress with their speed. The Canadian finished the session down in P17, a position ahead of his four-time German teammate.
At the bottom of the FP2 timesheets was FIA F2 driver Logan Sargeant, who replaced Alex Albon and completed 100km of running (24 laps) to earn an extra point in his chase for a superlicence, with the American set to make his F1 debut with Williams in 2023.
The Grove based outfit's Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi notched up a total of 33 laps on his way to P16 in the final practice session.
|1||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:14.604||27|
|2||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:14.788||+0.184s||36|
|4||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:15.049||+0.445s||29|
|5||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:15.098||+0.494s||30|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:15.636||+1.032s||31|
|8||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:15.684||+1.080s||40|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:15.815||+1.211s||37|
|10||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:15.851||+1.247s||24|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:15.865||+1.261s||31|
|14||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:15.994||+1.390s||28|
|15||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:16.047||+1.443s||33|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:16.181||+1.577s||33|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:16.263||+1.659s||42|
|18||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:16.400||+1.796s||43|
|19||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:16.468||+1.864s||36|
|20||45||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||1:16.480||+1.876s||28|