Carlos Sainz gave Ferrari fans plenty to smile about as he set an impressive pace in the second and final practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, with his team mate Charles Leclerc second at the Red Bull Ring.
The Spaniard clocked a 1m 08.610s, just 0.05s clear of Leclerc, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen, who has a legion of orange-clad fans in the grandstands in Austria, going third quickest.
As it’s an F1 Sprint weekend, there only two 60-minute practices, with Saturday morning’s session used to evaluate the tyres both for this afternoon’s fast-and-furious 24-lap Sprint but also Sunday’s main event – the Grand Prix.
Alpine continued their fine form around the 10-turn track this weekend, with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon fourth and fifth respectively, the duo within a quarter of a second the leading time.
FORMULA 1 ROLEX GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2022
Practice 2 results
|1 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||1:08.610|
|2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+0.050s|
|3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||+0.168s|
|4 Fernando ALONSO Alpine||+0.222s|
|5 Esteban OCON Alpine||+0.238s|
Sergio Perez, who will start the F1 Sprint 13th after having all his Q3 laps and his quickest Q2 lap deleted for track limits, was sixth, ahead of George Russell, whose Mercedes team did an impressive job to get the car ready for the session after his qualifying crash (there were just six hours between qualifying and FP2 where teams were allowed to work on cars).
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas – who has a back-of-the-grid start for Sunday’s race after a suite of engine component changes – is eighth, with Lewis Hamilton joining the fray with 14 minutes to go after a Mercedes completed his rebuild to end up ninth.
Mercedes said they have swapped Hamilton to the spare chassis because of the damage caused by his uncharacteristic crash in qualifying.
Lando Norris completed the top 10, his McLaren team mate Daniel Ricciardo nearly four tenths of a second adrift in 17th.