On the Albert Park Circuit, Charles Leclerc was the fastest man after the second free practice in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix. In Melbourne his time was set in 1:18.978 too fast for Max Verstappen who kept Carlos Sainz behind.
The second free practice started and it was immediately busy on the track after the first times appeared on the board. Charles Leclerc seemed to be the fastest man on the field for the time being in 1:20.523, but the Finn Valtteri Bottas outpaced the Monegask with a time that was a tenth faster. Lando Norris ended up in P3 but not for long with another fast Ferrari on the track.
Carlos Sainz proved that it could be even faster, the Spaniard took over from his teammate Leclerc with the fastest time in 1:19.979. Behind the Ferrari duo, Bottas closed in on P3. Meanwhile, at Red Bull Racing Max Verstappen was not completely satisfied with the behavior of his RB18. The Dutchman had to settle for 7th time behind Lando Norris for the time being. With just under 45 minutes on the clock, there was no time after the name of Sebastian Vettel alone. The German came to a standstill on the track in the first free practice with a heavily smoking car.
Leclerc was the fastest driver again after 20 minutes at the top of the field. In his Ferrari he was too quick for teammate Sainz in 1:19.771. Bottas stayed on pP3 for Fernando Alonso’s Alpine. Daniel Ricciardo closed the top 5 for the time being.
Time kept ticking and at the start of the last 30 minutes Fernando Alonso improved his time and pushed to P1 in 1:19.537. However, this was not enough as both Ferrari drivers were even faster. Leclerc dived under the time of Alonso, the Monegask in turn was referred back to P2 by Sainz who was the fastest in his time of 1:19.376.Max Verstappen closed in P4 ahead of Esteban Ocon.
With 25 minutes remaining in the second free practice, Charles Leclerc was the first to dive under 1 minute 19 seconds. The Ferrari driver sharpened the fastest time of the day to 1:18.978. Sainz had to slow down on P2 while Verstappen closed the top 3 for Alonso. The Dutchman’s teammate, Sergio Perez, now had the fifth fastest time. The difference between P1 and P5 was 0.0700 seconds.
It was a struggle for Verstappen but the current F1 world champion managed to improve and climbed up to P2 behind Leclerc. Just like in the first practice session, the red flag now appeared. With 12 minutes to go it was Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin who lost part of his car. The driver was able to continue driving but the debris had to be removed at Turn 13.
The times at the front of the field were no longer improved, so Charles Leclerc ended the day with the fastest time in 1:18.978 ahead of Max Verstappen who was 3 tenths short of his rival. Carlos Sainz settled for the third fastest time for Fernando Alonso. Sergio Perez had the fifth fastest time.
Results second free practice Grand Prix of Australia 2022