Site logo

Leclerc quickest in FP2 but error could prove costly


Ahead of today's second session the air temperature is 22 degrees C, while the track temperature is 25 degrees.

While this morning's session was largely unrepresentative due to the conditions we can expect for qualifying and the race - which both take place at night - it was interesting to see Verstappen's pace. While the Dutchman was eclipsed by Charles Leclerc by 0.116s, the Red Bull driver was on hards whilst the Bahrain winner was on softs.

Both AlphaTauris were on the pace, as was Valtteri Bottas, while the Mercedes pair were both over 1.5s down.

Due to a hydraulics leak Magnussen never set a time, whilst Sainz and Hamilton both reported bouncing (porpoising).

Talking of Haas, Albon was handed a reprimand for impeding Schumacher in the closing stages of the session.

During the course of this session the FIA is trialling a video system at a number of corners aimed at improving visibility where drivers have previously found themselves unable to see incidents ahead. Of course, when you build a 27-corner track within such confines such issues are to be expected.

In other news, F1 has asked for details following news that there was a "missile strike" at a nearby oil refinery during this morning's session. A problem one is unlikely to encounter at Silverstone and the like.

Indeed, ahead of this session, drivers and team bosses met with officials from the FIA and F1. As a result the start of the session is delayed by 15 minutes.

The lights go green and Bottas leads the way, followed by Zhou, Ocon, Hulkenberg and Stroll. As more drivers head out it's a mixture of Mediums and hards.

Bottas gets proceedings underway with a 31.802. Just three minutes in and all bar Verstappen and Perez are on track.

A 31.382 sees Sainz go top, only to be demoted by his teammate who crosses the line at 30.216.

Tsunoda goes third (31.616), ahead of Bottas, Norris, Russell, Ricciardo and Ocon.

As in FP1, Sainz complains of "bouncing" while the on-board shows that Hamilton is still suffering.

The Bulls head out on mediums.

"A lot of bouncing," confirms Hamilton.

On his first flying lap Verstappen goes third (31.290) while Perez can only manage 10th (32.092).

"I need the spare seat, that's higher," says Hamilton.

PBs in all three sectors see Russell improve to sixth (31.583), however he is demoted when Bottas crosses the line at 31.419 to go fourth.

Alonso goes fifth (31.507), ahead of Norris, Russell, Tsunoda and Gasly.

Tsunoda improves to fourth with a 31.350, as Magnussen posts a 32.489 to claim 15th.

Perez complains of "quite a bit of understeer" at high speed in S1, as teammate Verstappen goes quickest with a 30.214.

Bottas gives feedback on the corners where he's having problems.

With 40:00 remaining, Russell, Stroll, Albon and Hulkenberg are the only drivers on track, the first drivers to make the switch to softs.

Stroll improves to 7th (31.372), while Russell can only manage 8th (31.408).

More and more drivers switch to the red-banded rubber, among them the Ferrari pair.

Norris improves from 12th to 5th with a 30.735, as Albon almost collects Hamilton.

A 30.664 sees Russell go fifth.

Lots of greens on the timing screen but no purples.

On board with Leclerc shows the Ferrari bouncing, nonetheless he goes quickest in S1. A PB in S2 is followed by a poor S3 however, a nice two from Ocon enables the Monegasque to go quickest (30.074).

Bottas improves to 7th (30.832) having posted PBs in all three sectors.

"Pretty hard core the bouncing?" Russell is asked. "Yes!" he replies.

"I'm losing power, low on power," warns Hamilton.

Finally, all eyes on Verstappen as he heads out on softs for the firs time.

"Power, engine problem," warns Magnussen.

As Zhou improves to 16th and Hamilton 5th, Magnussen is told that he is OK to start pushing again.

At which point the Dane pulls to the side of the track at Turn 14, thereby bringing out the yellows. It appears to be another hydraulics issue.

The VSC is deployed.

Replay suggests Magnussen's problems began when he clouted one of the kerbs.

The VSC is withdrawn.

With 21:00 remaining, the top 13 drivers, representing 8 teams, are covered by just over a second. The top four - Leclerc, Verstappen, Sainz and Perez - are covered by just 0.286s.

Replays show Sainz brushing the wall at Turn 13 and his teammate at Turn 4. "My car is broken," reports the championship leader as he slowly makes his way back to the pits.

"Let man know aero balance," Hulkenberg is asked. "I don't know," he replies, "I'm busy driving." You just can't get the staff these days.

Hamilton improves to fifth (30.513), ahead of Russell, Norris and Ocon, as Leclerc walks over to the pit-wall his session over.

We're now into the high-fuelled long runs.

There's one for the conspiracy theorists, FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem is at the back of the Ferrari garage talking to Laurent Mekies.

"Rears fully gone guys," reports Latifi after 14 laps on his mediums.

Having missed out on the long runs, Ferrari are now on the back foot in relation to Red Bull.

On-board with Verstappen reveals that the Red Bull is bouncing, however it is nowhere near as severe as the Mercedes or Ferrari.

"Trouble, trouble, engine," reports Tsunoda. He is told to park the car, switch off the engine and jump out.

The session ends. Leclerc is quickest, ahead of Verstappen, Sainz, Perez, Hamilton, Russell, Norris, Ocon, Bottas and Tsunoda.

Alonso is eleventh, ahead of Gasly, Schumacher, Stroll, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Zhou, Latifi, Albon and Magnussen.

Though Ferrari, certainly Leclerc, is quickest, those close encounters with the barriers could prove costly, especially as both drivers missed out on much of their high fuel running.

Then there was Verstappen's pace on the hards.

Though 0.5s off the pace, the Mercedes pair are looking good, as are the AlphaTauris and Alpines, while Norris and Bottas look promising.

On the other hand, Williams appears fixed at the bottom, while those hydraulics issues look likely to compromise Magnussen's hopes of repeating his Bahrain fairy-tale.

Check out our Friday gallery from Jeddah, here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms