Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led the Red Bulls of FP1 leader Sergio Perez and championship leader Max Verstappen in second practice for the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Early efforts on medium tires saw Leclerc go fastest with a 1m 43.806s, Verstappen trailing by just 0.030s despite spending the first 15 minutes of FP2 in the garage with work undertaken on his rear wing and actuator DRS.
Softs came out after 30 minutes and Leclerc improved to a time of 1m 43.224s before going out and dodging the walls at Turn 7. He wasn’t the only one to make a mistake on an afternoon tough and windy in Baku – he wasn’t the only one to endure big porpoises on the main straight either.
FP1: Perez edges out Leclerc and Verstappen in Azerbaijan Grand Prix opening practice
Perez improved to within 0.248 seconds of Leclerc in P2, but an off-track excursion in Sector 3 saw him pull out a yellow flag and compromise team-mate Verstappen’s early effort to set a lap on soft tires . The Dutchman then improved to move 0.356 seconds behind Leclerc in third.
Carlos Sainz aborted his first race on soft tires and settled for P5 as his medium tire benchmark held – fellow countryman Fernando Alonso taking P4 for Alpine after nailing the third sector.
Running of the red bulls
Running of the red bulls
Seventh-placed Mercedes driver George Russell was blocked by AlphaTauris, Pierre Gasly two tenths ahead in sixth and Yuki Tsunoda two hundredths behind in eighth.
Esteban Ocon finished ninth for Alpine, just 0.042 seconds behind Tsunoda, while Lando Norris completed the top 10 for McLaren, that team having started FP2 on hard before the usual mid-term switch to softs. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo managed 14th place in second practice.
Lewis Hamilton’s other Mercedes, 12th, found itself sandwiched by Aston Martins: Sebastian Vettel is a tenth clear in P11 – fending off a huge blockage at Turn 1 early on – and Lance Stroll 13th having established the same time as Hamilton.
READ MORE: Perez says he has ‘good opportunity’ to win 2022 title after signing Red Bull contract extension
Azerbaijan GP 2022 FP2: Albon hits the wall at high speed Baku corner
The Alfa Romeos were in 15th and 16th, Valtteri Bottas two-tenths ahead of Zhou Guanyu, while Kevin Magnussen was 0.3s further in P17 for Haas.
Williams went from medium to soft earliest off the field, but 18th-placed Alex Albon spent most of that session in the garage after tapping the barriers to damage his left front suspension.
READ MORE: ‘Part of me loves it’ – Ricciardo says he has ‘no problem’ with current form speculation as he looks to fight back in Baku
After a water leak interrupted his race in FP1, Mick Schumacher had a lot of work to do in this session. The Haas driver finished 19th after focusing on the long runs, leaving Williams’ Nicholas Latifi last and P20.
FP3 follows at 1500 local time on Saturday before qualifying for the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix at 1800. Head to the RACING HUB for more information on how to catch the action.
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