Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2022

Leclerc quickest from Verstappen in second Australian practice

2022 Australian Grand Prix second practice

Posted on

| Written by

Charles Leclerc set the overall pace in the afternoon practice session ahead of Max Verstappen at the end of the first day of F1 running for the Australian Grand Prix.

Leclerc’s quickest time of a 1’18.978 saw him go a quarter of a second faster than Max Verstappen’s best lap time in the Red Bull. Carlos Sainz Jnr was third fastest in the second Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso fourth for Alpine.

The clouds had drifted over the Albert Park circuit between the end of first practice and the start of the afternoon session. Teams took to the track on the medium tyres for some early data in the slightly cooler afternoon conditions.

After Lance Stroll was summoned to the stewards and cleared of impeding Kevin Magnussen in first practice, Stroll was again involved in an incident at the penultimate corner when Carlos Sainz Jnr narrowly avoided hitting the Aston Martin at the apex of turn 13 on a flying lap. The incident will be investigated by the stewards after the session.

Lewis Hamilton kicked up a shower of gravel after running wide on the exit of turn 12, littering the approach to turn 13 with a light coating of gravel, which was eventually brushed away by the field of cars.

After Ferrari switched to the soft tyres, Sainz’s first attempt at a flying lap was ruined when Yuki Tsunoda got in his way through turn two. Leclerc went fastest of all on his first effort on the soft tyres, before Sainz went two tenths faster than his team mate when he eventually managed to get a clear lap in.

Verstappen attempted multiple hot laps on the same set of soft tyres, but had to back off from one after coming across traffic on the exit of the fast chicane of turn nine and ten, with a later lap ruined when he locked up under braking for turn 13.

Leclerc improved his time to go quickest of all with a 1’18.978, with Verstappen also putting in a better time to go within a quarter of a second to Leclerc to split the Ferraris.

With 12 minutes remaining, the session was red-flagged after the front left wheel faring on Stroll’s Aston Martin broke off the car as Stroll rounded turn 12, falling onto the racing line. The debris was recovered and the session quickly resumed.

None of the top teams attempted to improve their best lap times in the final minutes of practice, with Leclerc taking the chequered flag as the fastest overall driver on Friday. Verstappen ended the day second quickest, with Sainz third, almost four tenths slower than his team mate.

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull. Esteban Ocon put the second Alpine in the top six, ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo. Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten as both Mercedes drivers ended the day in the lower half of the times.

Having had his first practice session cut short with a power unit problem, Sebastian Vettel was unable to take to the track at all in the afternoon.

2022 Australian Grand Prix second practice result

116Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’18.97827
21Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’19.2230.24522
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’19.3760.39827
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’19.5370.55922
511Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’19.6580.68020
631Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’19.8420.86425
777Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’20.0551.07725
84Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’20.1001.12224
910Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’20.1421.16427
103Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’20.2031.22524
1163George RussellMercedesW131’20.2121.23425
1222Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’20.4241.44630
1344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’20.5211.54323
1418Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’20.6111.63328
1524Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’21.0632.08523
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’21.1912.21323
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’21.9122.93428
1847Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’21.9742.99622
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’22.3073.32924
205Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR22No time

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Australian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Australian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

22 comments on “Leclerc quickest from Verstappen in second Australian practice”

  1. I was expecting Ferrari to look good here, but i was not expecting maclaren ahead of Mercedes, alpine being so comfortable and, has being so bad. I know, it’s only fp2, but the trait is peculiar

    1. @njoydesign Alonso did a 1-lap run on softs though. The Ferraris and the Red Bulls all did 3 laps on the same set of softs, so never had the best fuel-tyre combination for an outright flying lap. I think the gap is bigger than it looks.

    2. @njoydesign
      It’s just practice. We don’t know fuel loads and engine modes, which makes a comparison between cars rather difficult. The Alpine was the quickest car on the straights, but was still over 0.5 sec behind. This suggests they were running more powerful engine modes and Alonso took a fresh engine after he had to retire from the last GP.
      Haas always run a lot of fuel on Friday and then make a big jump on Saturday, so I’m not too worried for them.
      As for Mclaren, they seem to have made a small step forward, but we’ll have to wait until qualifying to see by how much they really improved.
      Mercedes are still struggling with porpoising and their car is producing too much drag, which is a big handicap around Melbourne.

    3. My guess is Magnussen’s times will improve once the hangover wears off. Poor Mick cant even get close to KMag with a hangover! Although maybe he had a few at Gunter’s birthday bash too.

  2. Haas

  3. I get a feeling that this will be the last season for Vettel (if he even completes it). No luck, less grit than before, less progress by Aston Martin than expected. All that is left are crumbs for the former four-times world champion. Is that enough to stay?

    1. Yes, no point for him “fighting” for 14th. Unfortunately, Aston Martin has built a bad car. But I also doubt Alonso would want to stay for long fighting for 7th.

      I expect both of them to retire at the end of 2022. We may end up with just 2 world champions next year.

      1. @f1mre Vettel I think will likely retire, but I expect Alonso to continue. He seems to have a new appreciation for F1 since his return, and as long as Alpine is not completely hopeless and has a decent Q3 car, he’ll stay.

    2. Yep. It will be a sad end. But less sad than had he ended in 2020.

      Aston Martin have a lot of soul searching to do though. With Mercedes engine no longer top of the field, Otmar gone, Strolls still around, this risks becoming another Toyota – large spending but no effective outfit.

      I hope some of the Mercedes teams switch to Renault power, it will help balance the political power of Mercedes and also we will have one less backmarker team.

    3. @matthijs @f1mre @mashiat @Sumedh
      For now, I’m confident he continues, but we’ll see.

  4. Albert Park Track changes: $20m
    Albert Park Grandstand seat: $300
    Parachuting Fernando Alonso into a Red Bull vs Ferrari title fight: Priceless

  5. Great single lap pace from the Ferraris. Sainz in particular looked mighty on his runs today. Had he done another run like Leclerc, he would’ve likely gone even faster.
    Unfortunately for them their long run pace looked dreadful, struggling with massive graining on the mediums. They are very fast in the first 3 laps of their stint, but then they suddenly lose 1.5 sec on their next laps and the tyres never seem to recover. If this trend carries over to Sunday, they might be in for a tough race, battling with the midfield teams.
    Maybe it’s just down to the mediums being more critical in terms of graining or the track temperatures being surprisingly low (the race starts an hour earlier, plus the temperatures should rise by a few degrees on Sunday). We’ll see what happens. But for now I’d say Verstappen and RB are in a stronger position.

    1. @srga91 Not sure if observers like us can make any claims from these shortened simulations with any degree of certainty without access to more precise data elements of the car.

      Also today was cool and drizzling at times. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be warm and toasty.

      1. @wsrgo
        Of course you’re right, I was just commenting what I saw. I’m certainly no expert, especially not on the tech side.
        I thought it was strange, because both Ferraris were suddenly starting to lose a lot of pace in S1 and 3 (between 0.6 and 0.8 sec in each sector). Both drivers were also warned about the graining before they went back out after the red flag.
        As you rightly pointed out, the temperatures were rather on the low side today and they will likely increase over the course of the weekend and the track will get rubbered in more, which should also minimize the risk of graining. Let’s see what happens.

  6. Seem pretty evenly matched, again, with the same dynamic (Ferrari quick in corners, RB on straights) again.
    Race sims not long enough to be useful, but again, evenly matched.

    Will be interesting to see the way this pans out. If deg on the cars is similar, the Red Bull should have the advantage, because once they have made the move, Ferrari can’t really overtake them back.

    1. @hahostolze

      Ferrari quick in corners, RB on straights

      Ferrari will be wary then with less corners than before and four DRS zones.
      And who would have thought a few years ago that RB would be the fastest on the straights but not in the corners? It had always been the other way around.

      1. @matthijs yeah, me neither haha

      2. True that, it’s a strange feeling.

      3. RandomMallard
        8th April 2022, 13:56

        @matthijs Completely agree about RB being fast on the straights and Ferrari fast in the corner. Really interesting how that has changed. What amazes me though is how stable that Ferrari looks compared to pretty much every other car on the grid. Everyone getting big twitches on but very few moments like that for Ferrari.

        1. Ferrari does look stable but still looks like they have some porpoising. RB looks the most stable at the end of the straights, barely bouncing.

          1. @f1genova Yeah I heard Horner finally make mention of them having a bit of porpoising, but I think it was early days of testing, but to me for all intents and “porpoises” RBR have been free of that issue, no doubt in large part thanks to Adrian Newey. Oh perhaps they, like we have heard from others, could dial in some porpoising if they wanted, but no really I have been keeping a very close eye/ear wrt to RBR and porpoising, and like I say as far as I can tell it has not been an issue worth even mentioning for them.

  7. What Haas happened?

Comments are closed.