F1 | Spanish GP | FP2 | Hamilton leads quiet session from Sainz and Norris

Photo credits: Mercedes
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Cars are back on track again for the second practise session of the weekend. Among the first drivers lapping in Barcelona there was the Mercedes duo, with RB’s Ricciardo a bit late due to some final set up tweaks.

After the first set of attempts Norris leads with a 1:14.197s ahead of Russell and Verstappen, while Bottas runs wide after suffering from blockage.

Championship leader Max Verstappen opts for a front wing swap after mentioning balance issues on the radio. Canadian GP pole sitter George Russell improves the McLaren driver’s time by 0.108s, and is joined on the podium by teammate Lewis Hamilton’s time, 0.205s slower than his.

The fastest runner on hards at the moment is Oscar Piastri in P9. The Australian driver is able to improve his performance to P8 20 minutes into the session, signing a 1:15.106s.

The new wing has not resolved Verstappen’s woes, as he still brings up his balance troubles on the radio afterwards. 25 minutes into the session, it’s time for the Ferrari drivers to shine, as Carlos Sainz takes provisional P1 on softs signing a 1:13.286s and his teammate Charles Leclerc slots in third, with the Scuderia drivers sandwiching Norris.

Zhou is blocked by Tsunoda while on a fast lap, as Hamilton goes fastest at the halfway point in the session, with a time 0.022s better than Sainz’s earlier effort.

Photo credits Mercedes

An impressive performance sees Alpine’s Gasly in P4, with his teammate Esteban Ocon in the top 10 as well, with the only driver who hasn’t signed a lap on the softs Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez, stuck at the pits with his car being worked on.

With 25 minutes to go, the Haas driver duo of Hulkenberg and Magnussen join the top 10 slotting in P5 and P6 respectively. It’s short lasted as they are replaced shortly after by Verstappen and Leclerc, with the drivers beginning to focus on longer race simulations and runs.

Many teams opt for split strategies, including Williams as Sargeant runs on the hards while Albon collects data on the softs.

Perez’s difficulties persist throughout the whole session, as the Mexican driver’s best attempt has him in P13.

Norris runs over the kerbs, severely damaging his floor in the final moments of the session.

The seven times World Champion holds the top spot at the end of the session, with Sainz driving the upgraded Ferrari and Norris completing the podium. Gasly and Verstappen round off the top 5, whereas Leclerc holds P6 in spite of the numerous times he had to return to the pits to work on his car, suffering as well from lack of balance and feeling.

Piastri, Russell, Ocon and Bottas complete the top ten, for an impressive overall run for the French team on the day of the announcement of Flavio Briatore’s return to Alpine.

Tune in tomorrow for Qualifying!