Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz set the fastest lap of the second practice session for Sunday’s FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix beating the improved Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton by just under two tenths of a second with Lando Norris third for McLaren.
After the wet morning session there was plenty of activity early in the second practice session and after four minutes AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda set the pace with a lap of 1:34.204 but that establishing time was soon beaten as Alpine’s Fernando Alonso breezed past that marker with a lap of 1:33.066.
Formula 1 World Championship leader Max Verstappen and Leclerc then took to the track and Leclerc took top spot with a lap of 1:30.784, beating team-mate Sainz by 0.014s with Verstappen third.
Sainz returned to the top nine minutes into the session with a lap of 1:29.962 and Hamilton joined the battle for top spot as he rose to third in a Mercedes W13 sporting a host of revisions to the floor, front suspension and rear wing.
Leclerc then moved to to the top of the order with a lap of 1:29.639, three tenths faster clear of Sainz. Hamilton improved again to sit 0.8s adrift of Leclerc but Verstappen then split the Mercedes cars with a lap of 1:29.885 before Leclerc made another improvement, this time to go four tenths clear as Sainz also found time to improves sit just 0.081s off his team-mate. Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez then went fourth on 1:30.095.
All the top drivers set their times on medium tyres and as the halfway point approached the field began to make the move to soft tyres for their qualifying simulations.
Mercedes’ George Russell jumped to P4 with a time of 1:29.799, but after 28 minutes McLaren’s Lando Norris moved to the top with a lap of 1:29.118, three tenths ahead of Leclerc.
His stay there was brief, however, and just after 30 minutes Sainz took over in P1 with a soft-tyre time of 1:29.014. The Spaniard wasn’t entirely happy with his lap, though, and complained that he had lost a lot of time with bouncing in the high-speed sections
Leclerc made a small improvement on his soft tyre run but only to 1:29.404 and that left him third behind Norris.
With just over 17 mins left on the clock Verstappen bolted on the C3 soft tyres and the world champion jumped to third place behind Norris with a lap of 1:29.149. That was quickly eclipsed by Hamilton who took second place with a time of 1:29.105, just six hundredths of a second behind Sainz.
The Spanish Ferrari driver wasn’t finished, however, and a final flyer with just over 10 minutes remaining saw him make a small improvement to 1:28.942.
Sainz ended the session 0.163 clear of Hamilton with Norris third on a time of 1:29.118. Verstappen finished fourth, 0.207 off Sainz and Leclerc settled for fifth, a further two tenths back.
Sixth place in the session went to Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, 0.753s off the pace, with Sergio Pérez seventh in the second Red Bull. Russell finished eighth for Ferrari ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and the top 10 was order was completed by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll a neat 1.000s behind Sainz.
2022 FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:28.942 28 238.443
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.105 0.163 21 238.006
3 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:29.118 0.176 29 237.972
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:29.149 0.207 18 237.889
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:29.404 0.462 25 237.210
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:29.695 0.753 19 236.441
7 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 1:29.753 0.811 17 236.288
8 George Russell Mercedes 1:29.799 0.857 29 236.167
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:29.902 0.960 26 235.896
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:29.942 1.000 17 235.791
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.000 1.058 29 235.640
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:30.057 1.115 20 235.490
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:30.238 1.296 12 235.018
14 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:30.263 1.321 14 234.953
15 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.271 1.329 27 234.932
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:30.338 1.396 29 234.758
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:30.480 1.538 27 234.389
18 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:30.510 1.568 28 234.312
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:30.609 1.667 29 234.056
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:31.326 2.384 27 232.218