F1 – Sainz Quickest In Final Practice At The Red Bull Ring

Carlos Sainz set the pace in the final practice session ahead of the Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix, with the Spaniard beating Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc by the narrow margin of five hundredths of a second. Sprint pole sitter Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull.

It was Verstappen who led the way early in the session, with the Dutchman rising to the top of the timesheet with his first lap of the session. On soft compound Pirellis he set a target time of 1:09.170 to eclipse Sainz by 0.3s and Leclerc, both of whom were on medium tyres. Verstappen then chipped away at the benchmark time over the following laps to eventually arrive at 1:08.966.

Verstappen didn’t enter the fray until five minutes had passed but there was a longer wait for action at Mercedes. Both the team’s driver crashed in qualifying and repairs were still being effected at FP2 got underway.

George Russell was the first of the Silver Arrows’ drivers to appear, 11 minutes into the session. The Briton emerged on soft tyres and he immediately jumped to sixth place on the timesheet before improving to third during the longer runs that defined the first half of the session. Russell posted a time of 1:09.240 to split the Ferrari drivers.

Behind the Ferraris Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez, who finished 13th in qualifying after being penalised for leaving the track without a justifiable reason during Q2 was again struggling for pace. That allowed the Alpines of Fernand Alonso and Esteban Ocon to challenge for top six places in the session and Alonso made the first claim, taking fourth place with Ocon slotting into sixth.

At the top of the order, Leclerc and Sainz had bolted on soft tyres and the Monegasque driver took top spot with a lap of 1:08.660. Leclerc then held onto the same set of tyres to asses wear rates and failed to improve. Silverstone-winner Sainz, though, found enough pace on the red-walled tyre to dislodge his team-mate, setting a time of 1:08.610 to claim bragging rights at the end of the session. Verstappen ended the session third 0.168s adrift of Sainz.

Alonso held onto fourth at the flag, while Ocon improved to 1:08.848 to site 0.016s behind his team-mate. Pérez eventually made his way to sixth place on the timesheet logging a best time of 1:09.179, almost six tenths off Sainz and four off Verstappen. Russell finished as the lead Mercedes in seventh place ahead of Alfa Romeo’s, while Lewis Hamilton finally made it on track with a quarter of an hour reminaing and took ninth place, sevent tenths of a second off Sainz. Lando Norris wrapped up the top order for McLaren.

2022 FIA Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:08.610 40 226.567
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:08.660 0.050 43 226.402
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:08.778 0.168 32 226.014
4 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:08.832 0.222 21 225.836
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:08.848 0.238 24 225.784
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 1:09.179 0.569 36 224.704
7 George Russell Mercedes 1:09.240 0.630 33 224.506
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:09.251 0.641 26 224.470
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:09.350 0.740 14 224.149
10 Lando Norris McLaren 1:09.519 0.909 38 223.605
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:09.525 0.915 43 223.585
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:09.579 0.969 37 223.412
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:09.602 0.992 44 223.338
14 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:09.665 1.055 36 223.136
15 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:09.700 1.090 32 223.024
16 Alexander Albon Williams 1:09.740 1.130 34 222.896
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:09.852 1.242 34 222.539
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:09.960 1.350 34 222.195
19 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:10.005 1.395 39 222.052
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:10.261 1.651 36 221.243

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