Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022

Leclerc crashes, Russell fastest in second practice dedicated to tyre testing

2022 Mexican Grand Prix second practice

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Charles Leclerc crashed out of second practice for the Mexican Grand Prix as George Russell went quickest in a session dedicated to tyre testing.

The Ferrari driver lost control at turn seven and crashed backwards into the barriers, causing heavy damage to the rear of his car. Russell was fastest at the end of the session, but times were largely irrelevant as the majority of running was dedicated to gaining data on Pirelli’s prototype 2023 tyre compounds.

Despite more cloud cover than the first hour of practice, circuit conditions remained comparable to the first session with temperatures again around 25 degrees. After handing over their cars for the first session, George Russell, Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda, Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Albon all took back their cars for second practice.

As with the previous round atr Circuit of the Americas last weekend, the second session of the day was extended by half an hour and dedicated to testing the softest prototype compounds designed by Pirelli for the 2023 season. Only the five drivers that missed the opening session were permitted to run their dry tyre allocation for the weekend. Russell used the soft tyres to set the early benchmark time of a 1’19.970 – quicker than Carlos Sainz Jnr’s best time of the earlier session – as Tsunoda and Ocon went second and third fastest, also on the softs.

After Pietro Fittipaldi being forced to stop Magnussen’s Haas on track with a suspected turbo problem in first practice, Magnussen was initially unable to take to the track as his mechanics continued to work on his car. He was eventually sent out onto the track with almost half an hour already expired on the prototype tyres, meaning he would not run any of his weekend’s tyre allocation in the session.

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As drivers carried out the runs assigned to them by Pirelli, some struggled for rear grip around the circuit. Sainz and Max Verstappen both made mistakes, while Yuki Tsunoda also had an oversteer moment entering the stadium section which saw him miss turn 14 entirely.

Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Mexican Grand Prix practice in pictures
By far the biggest moment came for Ferrari’s Leclerc, who lost control of the rear of his car entering turn seven and spun, hitting the barriers backwards and destroying the rear of the car. The session was red-flagged and Leclerc safely climbed out of his car unharmed, but there was a 20-minute delay until practice resumed.

When it did, the 45-minute cut-off point for drivers who had missed the opening practice session had elapsed, meaning that for the remainder of the session, all drivers were obliged to run prototype Pirellis with DRS disabled. As a result, there were no further improvements in the times for the rest of the session.

In the final three minutes, Zhou Guanyu was told to pull his car off the circuit following a loss of hydraulic pressure in his Alfa Romeo. Zhou stopped off track in the stadium section, causing the red flags to come out for a second time and signalling the end of the session.

That left Russell on top of the times ahead of Tsunoda and Ocon, all three having set their best laps on softs earlier in the session. Lewis Hamilton was fourth and the quickest of the drivers who had been limited to the prototype tyres, ahead of the two Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, with the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz behind them.

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2022 Mexican Grand Prix second practice result

163George RussellMercedesW131’19.97032
222Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’20.7980.82830
331Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’21.1771.20731
444Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’21.5091.53932
511Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’21.5791.60934
61Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’21.5881.61834
716Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’21.6181.64813
855Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’21.6931.72334
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’21.9932.02336
1010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’22.1042.13436
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’22.3372.36731
125Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’22.3712.40132
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’22.4472.47724
144Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’22.7382.76831
153Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’22.7632.79327
1618Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’22.8402.87023
1747Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’22.8792.90931
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’23.3163.34621
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’23.3203.35034
2024Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’23.3693.39934

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2022 Mexican 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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4 comments on “Leclerc crashes, Russell fastest in second practice dedicated to tyre testing”

  1. Not really a milestone for Russell, he and the next two drivers were on normal softs during the first 45 minutes due to them not taking part in FP1.
    Therefore Hamilton was the fastest on 2023 tyres, but then we do not know what rubber he or anybody else was running. Russell was about 4th or 5th on the trial rubber.

    Also we can also assume some were running with wick turned down to -1 as they are hoping, like crazy, these engines can keep going. Wrong time of season for 1h:30m session.

    1. @w-k I don’t quite get your point about late-season events being wrong choices for a 1h30min FP2.

      1. I guess he means at the end of the season people are running old engines and hoping to make them last till the end, hence it’d be better to have a 1h 30 session earlier in the season.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      29th October 2022, 14:01

      Mario Isola did quite a lot of explaining on sky but I cannot remember most of it!

      The tyres are not a complete unknown to the teams as they have to have some idea of what to expect. He did state which compounds were being tested in terms of C1,2 ,etc. Another part of the unknown to us is the amount of fuel they had to use.

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