Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2022

Sainz leads Ferrari one-two in final practice session before sprint race

2022 Austrian Grand Prix second practice

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Carlos Sainz Jnr led Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc in the second and final practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari pair used soft tyres to sit top of the time sheets in the busy second practice session, with Sainz ending the session quickest overall by exactly five-hundredths of a second over his team mate. Sprint race pole winner Max Verstappen ended the session third fastest, having set his best time of the hour on medium tyres.

Although the skies were filled with clouds after a sunny start to the weekend of Friday, air and track temperatures were virtually identical to qualifying when the teams took to the track for the final practice session of the weekend.

Prior to the start of practice, Mercedes announced that they had swapped Lewis Hamilton to a spare chassis following his crash in qualifying on Friday and that they did not expect to get their cars out onto the circuit until around half an hour into running. However, Hamilton’s team mate George Russell was released out onto the track after only a short delay once the track had gone green at the start of the session.

Teams opted for a mixture of medium and soft tyres as they focused on long runs ahead of the evening’s sprint race. The Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc went to the top of the times on the medium tyres with Sainz setting the benchmark of a 1’09.515, before Max Verstappen headed out on the soft tyres to set the fastest time, almost half a second quicker than the Ferraris.

Leclerc came over the radio to question if there were any problems with his power unit after sensing he may not have been getting optimum power from his car, however, he was reassured it was simply his engine mode setting and Leclerc was able to continue on his run uninterrupted. Both Verstappen and Sainz improved their times, while Russell moved third on the soft tyres with a 1’09.240, a quarter of a second off Verstappen’s best.

After spending almost half of the session in the garage, Alpine eventually sent Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon out onto the circuit, with Alonso going fourth fastest on the medium tyre. Verstappen then switched over to the mediums and used them to improve his own overall fastest time by just over the tenth of a second, before Alonso moved up into second place behind the sprint race pole winner. Ocon then replaced his team mate as the second ranked driver, setting a personal best time that was only half a tenth slower than Verstappen’s best.

Just after the half-hour mark, Ferrari chose to move onto the soft tyres for both Leclerc and Sainz. Leclerc made use of the faster rubber to immediately go quickest of all, a tenth faster than Verstappen. Later, Sainz replaced his team mate at the top of the times, setting a 1’08.610 to go exactly half a tenth faster than Leclerc.

With just under 15 minutes remaining, Mercedes finally released Hamilton out onto the track for the first time in the session having completed repair work on his car. Hamilton headed out on the medium tyres and completed a total of 14 laps, setting a best lap time that was good enough for him to go ninth quickest, just over a tenth behind team mate Russell in seventh.

None of the drivers at the top of the times improved their fastest laps over the final minutes of the session, leaving Sainz to take the chequered flag as the fastest driver of the session. Leclerc was second, half a tenth behind his team mate, with Verstappen third having set his fastest time on the medium tyres.

The two Alpines of Alonso and Ocon were fourth and fifth, respectively, with Sergio Perez sixth quickest in the second Red Bull. Russell ended the session in seventh, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton in ninth. Lando Norris completed the top ten for McLaren, nine tenths slower than Sainz’s overall best.

2022 Austrian Grand Prix second practice result

155Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’08.61040
216Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’08.6600.05043
31Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’08.7780.16832
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’08.8320.22221
531Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’08.8480.23824
611Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’09.1790.56936
763George RussellMercedesW131’09.2400.63033
877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’09.2510.64126
944Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’09.3500.74014
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’09.5190.90938
1118Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’09.5250.91543
1210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’09.5790.96937
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’09.6020.99244
1424Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’09.6651.05536
1547Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’09.7001.09032
1623Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’09.7401.13034
173Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’09.8521.24234
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’09.9601.35034
1922Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’10.0051.39539
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’10.2611.65136

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2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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    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...

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    8 comments on “Sainz leads Ferrari one-two in final practice session before sprint race”

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      9th July 2022, 13:11

      I really hate sprints. Haven’t got much else to add.

      1. Think of it like a Tour de France sprint stage. A couple guys are gong for the win. The rest are just trying not to crash or get split off from the peloton and lose time.

        1. @dmw Sprint stages are specifically engineered to end in a massive sprint. As you say, the peloton mostly just cruises to the line and generally treats these days as an informal rest day. People who win sprint stages are almost never relevant in the general classification – and often don’t even finish the Tour to begin with. A cynic might say it’s mostly just padding the length of the event. In F1 though, a sprint is just like the first stint of a Grand Prix with all the same people up front, the same people in the middle, and the same people in the back.

          It’s way too gimmicky to ever happen, and definitely not something I’d want to see, but to more closely mimic the change of pace that sprint stages offer; F1 might decide to only race with the bottom five teams in the WCC.

          On a more serious note, the greater visibility of the slower teams is one of the reasons I like the one-lap qualifying format over today’s system where you mostly see the top teams even in Q1.

      2. You will grow to love them. It is an extra 1/3 of a race of action for us fans, much better than watching another practice session

    2. Coventry Climax
      9th July 2022, 13:16

      Let me put it another way, using your own words,
      @Jere ? Nothing wrong with Domenicali greeting pretty ladies before a race, as he’s tended to do, in the past.

    3. Ferrari’s pace doesn’t look good enough to either overtake Verstappen or defend from a DRS-assisted pass. I expect a win in both races for the champion, but it’ll be really interesting to see how much progress Hamilton can make today. If he gets right up behind the top for the Grand Prix, I expect him to have a good scrap with the Ferrari’s for the podium.

      1. I think Ferrari looks good, but only if they can get ahead of Verstappen.

    4. Is that a record for amount of laps by one team in a practise session?

    Comments are closed.