George Russell set Mercedes fastest at the end of the Grand Prix in Miami on Friday as Carlos Sainz Jr. exited the course.
The Ferrari driver was sitting on the timing screens in the second practice session when he lost control and spun into the outer barriers at Turn 14, causing significant damage to his car.
Max Verstappen’s tough day continued with an apparent hydraulic failure that caused a fire to his right rear wheel on the one and only lap of the course.
The air temperature dropped by just one degree as the cars ventured out onto the track for Friday’s second and final session. All of the racers chose the medium compound tires in the first minutes as they were looking forward to the long-term data after acclimating themselves to the circuit in the previous session.
After his first crash in Turn 7, Valtteri Bottas had to sit out the whole session as the Alfa Romeo mechanic continued to rebuild his car.
Mick Schumacher gave up on his first round of practice two after reporting that the side bodywork on Haas was being lifted by air flowing over the car at high speed. Haas’ problem worsened when Kevin Magnussen began to suffer the same damage as the sister car, forcing both of them back into the garage.
Carlos Sainz Jr. set the early pace, clocking in at 1’30.964, with Sergio Perez just over half a tenth behind in second. However, Sainz’s early promising performance ended abruptly when he lost control of his Ferrari on exiting Turn 13 and ran into the barriers, causing massive damage to his car.
Red flags halted the session as Sainz climbed out of his wrecked Ferrari, and proceedings were halted for about ten minutes while the wreckage was cleared.
Eventually the session resumed, but Verstappen, who had yet to set a date, immediately reported heavy steering to Red Bull. As he made his way around the lap, his car became more and more difficult to control, until an intense fire started to appear on Verstappen’s right rear brake assembly. Verstappen has been able to slowly get his car back into the pits, crippling many of his rivals in the process, but he will remain in the garage for the rest of the hour.
With so many teams switching to soft tyres, Lewis Hamilton briefly went faster of everything, until Charles Leclerc put the Mercedes back into pole position with his first attempt on the red-walled tyres. George Russell then became the first driver to break the 90sec barrier, clocking in at 1’29.938 to become the fastest ever.
Red flags were raised for the second time within an hour after Nicholas Latifi withdrew from the track at Turn 9 after reporting concerns that one of his wheels was not securely attached to his Williams. This brought the session to a standstill and spoiled many of the long tracks for those who were on the track at the time.
After another short delay, the session resumed again. Magnussen had a spin in the seventh turn, similar to Bottas’ accident in first practice, but managed to avoid hurdles, unlike Alfa Romeo. Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel rotated their cars separately at Turn 11, but they managed to recover.
With no improvements at the top of the timing screen, the checkered flag indicated that Russell will finish on Friday as the fastest for Mercedes, only the second time Mercedes has finished on top of a training session this season.
Leclerc finished the day in second place, his 10th Russell’s best time in the session. Perez finished third on Red Bull’s fastest competition list, nearly three hundred per second off Hamilton in fourth. Fernando Alonso was the fifth fastest player in the Alpine region, ahead of Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Chu Guanyu and Esteban Ocon. Magnussen finished the top ten.
Report to follow
The result of the 2022 Miami Grand Prix second training
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2022 Miami Grand Prix
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