Categories: Sports News

Sainz takes over

After Charles Leclerc at the start of the afternoon, it was Carlos Sainz Jr who was the fastest during the second free practice session of the French Grand Prix. Max Verstappen follows but half a second behind the Ferrari drivers.

Carlos Sainz Jr ignores his penalty. While he is guaranteed to drop a minimum of ten places on the starting grid of the Grand Prix de France, the Spaniard harnessed the full potential of his Ferrari during the second free practice session at the Circuit Paul-Ricard. While the outside temperature remained high (30°C), the track gradually cooled due to the sun decreasing over the hour of driving. The pilots took advantage of this session to prepare for the qualifying exercise and, in this little game, it was Carlos Sainz Jr who was the best performer in 1’32”527, almost a second and a half better than Charles Leclerc in the first session. The Monegasque, meanwhile, conceded 101 thousandths of a second to his teammate on his best lap of the Castellet track.

Verstappen back

In contact with his runner-up in the drivers’ world championship standings at the start of the afternoon, Max Verstappen couldn’t put it all together. Indeed, on his best lap, the world champion dropped no less than 550 thousandths of a second to Carlos Sainz Jr. The Dutchman is followed two tenths by George Russell, who confirms the relative good form of the Mercedes. After giving up his seat to Nyck de Vries at the start of the day, Lewis Hamilton was able to take to the track and set the fifth time but almost a second behind the reference. Lando Norris followed his compatriot and was three tenths ahead of Pierre Gasly. Taking advantage of an AT03 having evolved before the Grand Prix de France, the Norman rose to seventh place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and a Sergio Pérez still struggling at the wheel of his Red Bull Racing.

Better for Alonso, not for Ocon

Just behind the Mexican, we find Fernando Alonso. On the grounds of the Alpine team, the Spaniard was able to move up the hierarchy from the first free practice session. However, the double world champion is almost two seconds behind the benchmark set by Carlos Sainz Jr. For Esteban Ocon, the results are not positive. Pointed to more than two seconds, the native of Evreux could not do better than 18th place. Only Mick Schumacher, outdistanced by an eighth Kevin Magnussen, and Nicholas Latifi posted a better time worse than that of Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman and his team will have to find solutions for the qualifying session, scheduled for this Saturday on the Circuit Paul-Ricard, at the risk of experiencing a complicated race at the end of the weekend. In any case, the duel between Red Bull Racing and Ferrari will once again be the poster child for this French Grand Prix.

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