F1 GP Miami, FP2: George Russell leads session, good signs from Mercedes

George Russell led the session with his Mercedes W13, ahead of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull). Max Verstappen had problems after a preventive gearbox change. The session was interrupted due to an accident by Carlos Sainz.

Good signals given by Mercedes that led the second free practice, through George Russell (Mercedes F1 W13/Mercedes), who was the fastest on the track, beating Charles Leclerc (Ferrari F1-75) by 0.106s. Third place in the session for Sergio Perez (Red Bull RB18), the only Red Bull rider to record a time, as Max Verstappen (Red Bull RB18) had hydraulic problems, which took him back to the pits, after going late to the track because the team was changing the gearbox of their single-seater.
After leaving the track in the 1st free practice, Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo C42/Ferrari) did not leave the pits because the car was not ready in time. Another good sign, the fact that eight different teams made the top 10.
This was a somewhat eventful session, and after the riders had adapted to the track, this second free practice has already served much more for the teams to work towards qualifying and the race. First session to learn, second to work.
Clearly, the highlight is the fact that Mercedes has placed its two single-seaters at the top of the table and with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes F1 W13 / Mercedes) in fourth place, which is a clear sign that things are starting to improve for Mercedes. , never forgetting that a Red Bull and a Ferrari had problems in this session and were late. In any case, and even if the improvement of Mercedes has to be confirmed tomorrow, the signs left are good, also confirming that George Russell remains more comfortable with the W13 than Hamilton.
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari F1-75) crashed with about 17 minutes into the session. The Spaniard entered the top and hit the walls with some force which led to the interruption of the session. He didn’t come back and after having topped the timesheets, he was only 11th. Sainz is still unlucky, and he didn’t even get rid of a strong headbutt on an iron when he tried to enter an opening in the pitlane net. There is nothing that doesn’t happen to you.
The only positive point is that Ferrari has shown itself to be doing well at this track. Red Bull, struggling with mechanical problems, is having more difficulties, but Pérez’s third place at 0.212s is not bad at all…
Positive signs also for Alpine with Fernando Alonso (Alpine A522/Renault) in fifth place with the team placing its two single-seaters in the top 10, which is a positive sign.
Lando Norris (McLaren MCL36/Mercedes) was sixth and the best of the McLarens, Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren MCL36/Mercedes) was just 12th, proving that he is still ‘miles’ from his teammate. As a single seater, it doesn’t look like it can be close to the best on this track.
Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri AT03/Red Bull) was seventh ahead of a positive Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo C42/Ferrari) who placed himself in eighth place, on a day when Alfa Romeo only had one car on the track.
Esteban Ocon (Alpine A522/Renault) was ninth and closing the top 10 was the best of the Haas, with Kevin Magnussen (Haas VF-22/Ferrari) ahead of Carlos Sainz (Ferrari F1-75). This was followed by Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri AT03/Red Bull), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin AMR22/Mercedes), Mick Schumacher (Haas VF-22/Ferrari), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin AMR22/Mercedes), Alexander Albon (Williams FW44/ Mercedes) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams FW44/Mercedes) who did not complete the session. The Aston Martins are still very bad, with Vettel a little better than Stroll.

Session film
With about 10 minutes on track, 1 Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari ahead with a 1m31.131s on medium tyres. Shortly after, Sergio Pérez made a top. Alex Albon had a slight exit in his Williams, without consequences, at Turn 7.
Shortly after, it was Carlos Sainz’s turn to put the Ferrari at the top of the timesheet with a 1m31.463s on medium tyre. Mick Schumacher had to pit due to a sidepod coming loose on his Haas.
Carlos Sainz lowered his best record even further to 1m30.964s, which put him 0.167s ahead of Leclerc.
With about 17 minutes into the session, Carlos Sainz got on top and hit the walls with some force which led to the interruption of the session. The red flag was shown to remove the Spaniard’s Ferrari.
In the reruns it was noticed that it showed that the Ferrari was already running with some difficulty, in the area where it ended up hitting Turn 12.
After the restart, Sergio Perez started to share the Ferraris with a 1m31.029s in his Red Bull, at a time when Max Verstappen was still in the pits, leaving shortly after, but he didn’t spend much time on the track as the brakes started to burn. It delayed Stroll, who narrowly avoided Verstappen, but the stewards chose not to take action, as the Red Bull driver was clearly riding with great difficulties.
In between, Leclerc moved to the top of the table on soft tyres, recording a 1m30.044s, being passed shortly after by George Russell who put his Mercedes at the top with a 1m29.938s on soft tyres.
With 20 minutes remaining in the session, Russell was leading ahead of Leclerc and Perez, with Hamilton fourth ahead of Alonso, Norris, Gasly, Zhou, Ocon and Magnussen.
With 12 minutes left in the session, Nicholas Latifi Latifi stopped on the track. The session was interrupted.
After his accident, Carlos Sainz fell down the table and 10 minutes from the end he was already in 11th place, ahead of Ricciardo, Vettel, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll, Albon, Latifi, Verstappen and Bottas, the latter two without any recorded time. . The Dutchman still rode on the track, but did not make any laps.
Towards the end, Sergio Perez had a slight departure from the track, at turn 10, when trying to overtake Vettel, without consequences.
Kevin Magnussen spun into Turn 7 towards the end, but he spun again. Shortly afterward, Vettel did the same.


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