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.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
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||RB18||1’19.223||0.245||22|
|3||55||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Ferrari||F1-75||1’19.376||0.398||27|
|5||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||RB18||1’19.658||0.680||20|
|7||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||C42||1’20.055||1.077||25|
|9||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||AT03||1’20.142||1.164||27|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||AT03||1’20.424||1.446||30|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||AMR22||1’20.611||1.633||28|
|15||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||C42||1’21.063||2.085||23|
|20||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||AMR22||No time|
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2022 Australian Grand Prix
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