Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc emerged fastest following two hectic Friday Practice sessions at 2022 US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Leclerc was amongst five regular drivers to sit out FP1 as four rookies plus Antonio Giovinazzi conducted running across five different individual teams, yet the Monegasque bounced back in a relatively quiet FP2 session to top the timesheets as Pirelli tyre testing dominated the latter session.
Carlos Sainz meanwhile topped FP1 for Ferrari but Leclerc managed to set the fastest overall time across both sessions in FP2 by just 0.047 seconds.
Now, here is a full roundup of all the action across both sessions.
A hectic start to FP1 saw Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll first out on track as four rookies made their F1 debuts as FP1 drivers – Logan Sargeant, Robert Shwartzman, Alex Palou and Theo Pourchaire for Williams, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo respectively.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly meanwhile complained of a “barbercue” smell in his car just minutes into the session, of which didn’t lead to further issues.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez set the initial pace on soft tyres from McLaren’s Lando Norris who was on medium tyres, as the red flag was waved in the eighth minute after Haas’ Test driver, Giovinazzi spun at Turn 6 and briefly wedged his front right wheel in the barrier.
The session resumed four minutes later minus Giovinazzi who had suffered too much damage to the car, with newly two-time champion – Max Verstappen setting the pace on soft tyres with 1m 38.772 which wasn’t beaten at halfway mark of this session.
McLaren’s rookie FP1 driver, Palou was the fastest rookie at the half-hour mark in ninth position but as attention switched to the soft tyre Qualifying simulations, the more experienced drivers began to come to the fore.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz eventually emerged fastest with 1m 36.857 set in the 44th minute, just minutes after Verstappen’s fastest lap time of 1m 37.462 was bettered by Stroll who went 0.002s quicker.
At the checkered flag, Sainz sat top of the timesheet from Verstappen by 0.224s with Lewis Hamilton, Stroll, Perez, Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Gasly, Norris and Sebastian Vettel rounding out the top ten.
Out of the four rookies, Palou and Pourchaire set their fastest lap times on medium tyres in 17th and 18th positions unlike Shwartzman and Sargeant, who set their quickest laps on soft tyres in 16th and 19th positions.
|1||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||1m 36.857|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.224|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.475|
|4||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.603|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.658|
|6||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 0.856|
|7||George Russell||Mercedes||+ 0.945|
|8||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.953|
|9||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.999|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 1.184|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.245|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.419|
|13||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 1.565|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 2.041|
|15||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 2.065|
|16||Robert Shwartzman||Ferrari||+ 2.094|
|17||Alex Palou||McLaren||+ 3.054|
|18||Theo Pourchaire||Alfa Romeo||+ 3.318|
|19||Logan Sargeant||Williams||+ 3.468|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 6.206|
Nicholas Latifi, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas all returned to their race seats for this session and rest of weekend, having given up their cars for rookie drivers in FP1 and were handed an extra set of current tyres alongside 2023 prototype test tyres.
Bottas and Ricciardo immediately took advantage of their additional set of current tyres as they headed straight out on track, once the light for FP2 went green at start of session although it was Leclerc who set the initial benchmark of 1m 38.856 on soft tyres.
Only Sainz managed to disrupt the non prototype exclusive tyre runners as he went fastest in the eighth minute with 1m 38.783, only for Leclerc to swiftly respond to go fastest with 1m 37.614 on medium tyres.
Bottas and Ricciardo then took advantage of their soft tyre running to go second and third behind Leclerc, with that top three staying in position at the halfway mark of the extended 90 minute session, as Sainz headed those who exclusively ran protoype tyres in this FP2 session in fourth.
Leclerc, Bottas and Ricciardo eventually finished top of the timesheet as nobody improved lap times in the second half of the session, with the top trio also conducting protype tyre testing.
|1||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1m 36.810|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.715|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 0.817|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 1.422|
|5||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 2.697|
|6||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 2.737|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 2.765|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 2.888|
|9||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 3.030|
|10||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 3.042|
|11||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 3.274|
|12||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 3.368|
|13||George Russell||Mercedes||+ 3.752|
|14||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 3.854|
|15||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 3.996|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 4.500|
|17||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 4.524|
|18||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 5.043|
|19||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 5.047|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 5.507|