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Azerbaijan GP: Charles Leclerc is Red Bulls fastest in FP2 as Mercedes struggles

Charles Leclerc fastest ahead of Sergio Perez in P2 after Red Bull led the standings in P1; Mercedes struggles as Lewis Hamilton finishes 12th Watch Practice 3 live on Sky Sports F1 on Saturday at 12pm with qualifying following from 2pm

Last update: 10/06/22 16:35

Charles Leclerc was fastest in second practice at the Azerbaijan GP

Charles Leclerc was fastest in second practice at the Azerbaijan GP

Charles Leclerc denied Sergio Perez a double in Azerbaijan GP practice as the Ferrari led both Red Bulls in Friday’s second session while Mercedes’ battles continued in Baku.

In a reversal of the first practice session, Leclerc led Perez by a quarter of a second, while Championship leader Verstappen was another tenth down as the drivers faced challenging conditions at the breezy street circuit.

Fernando Alonso took advantage of Carlos Sainz’s failure in his last two attempts to fly laps to finish fourth ahead of second Ferrari for Alpine, while Pierre Gasly was sixth for AlphaTauri.

George Russell was seventh for Mercedes, but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton was 12th after a hot day that saw the seven-time world champion’s Silver Arrow struggle more than most with violent jumps on the straights.

Verstappen came into the second session with concerns about his rear wing, which appeared to have bent excessively in the first hour of use and reportedly prompted complaints from other teams.

Sergio Perez lost control of his Red Bull in the opening corner of the Baku City Circuit in the second practice session.

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Sergio Perez lost control of his Red Bull in the opening corner of the Baku City Circuit in the second practice session.

Sergio Perez lost control of his Red Bull in the opening corner of the Baku City Circuit in the second practice session.

The Dutchman had to wait more than 10 minutes to get out on track in P2 while Red Bull continued to work on his car, with the team finally deciding to mirror the setup of Perez’s car, which didn’t have the same problem in P1 .

With Red Bull working in the garage, Leclerc had already topped the timesheets for Ferrari, although his lead time had – by this point – appeared to have been helped by a slipstream from Nicholas Latifi’s Williams down the stretch.

Verstappen eventually made it onto track and showed promising signs as he got within a tenth of Leclerc, but when all the cars switched to soft tires midway through the session, the Monegasque proved his pace was real.

Leclerc comes off the track at Turn 7 in second practice at the Azerbaijan GP.

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Leclerc comes off the track at Turn 7 in second practice at the Azerbaijan GP.

Leclerc comes off the track at Turn 7 in second practice at the Azerbaijan GP.

Leclerc, looking to end a four-race winless streak, improved by another half a second as he set a 1’43.224 that ultimately proved unattainable for either Red Bull.

Sainz’s second Ferrari looked capable of challenging but the Spaniard botched a flying lap with a lock-up before his next attempt was stopped by yellow flags after Perez went off the track.

This drive from the circuit for Perez was one of several to be seen throughout the day as drivers struggled to control F1’s all-new 2022 cars around the extremely demanding street circuit, which mixes tight corners with high-speed sections.

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Azerbaijan GP Practice Two timesheets

driver team time
1) Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:43.224
2) Sergio Perez red bull +0.248
3) Max Verstappen red bull +0.356
4) Fernando Alonso alpine +0.918
5) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +1,050
6) Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +1,091
7) George Russell Mercedes +1,324
8) Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri +1,343
9) Esteban Ocon alpine +1,385
10) Lando Norris McLaren +1,547
11) Sebastian Vettel Aston-Martin +1,557
12) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1,650
13) Lance walk Aston-Martin +1,650
14) Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1,835
15) Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1,891
16) Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +2,040
17) Kevin Magnussen haas +2,364
18) Alexander Albon Williams +3,173
19) Mike Schumacher haas +3,201
20) Nicholas Latifi Williams +3,994

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