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Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2022

Leclerc answers back to Red Bull pace to top FP2 in Baku

Charles Leclerc claimed P1 on the timesheets of Free Practice 2 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a position he held for much of the session.

Leclerc Baku
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Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets during Free Practice 2 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, having held P1 for much of the session.

Leclerc set the pace with a time of 1:43.224 on the Soft tyre, while Sergio Perez was two tenths of a second back in P2.

Max Verstappen claimed third, ahead of Fernando Alonso in fourth.

Carlos Sainz took P5, and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top six.

The times tumbled as the session went on, with the sun getting lower on the streets of Baku and bringing with it cooler temperatures.

Leclerc held P1 for much of the hour, but seemed to have a moment of worry in the final minutes. The Ferrari driver questioned whether he had an engine issue, yet was assured by his engineers that all was okay.

Result Free practice 2 - Azerbaijan

Pos. Driver Team Time
Results are being loaded...

Earlier problems fixed?

Free Practice 1 had been characterised by struggles with bouncing, with many teams affected by the issue.

The problem has been a common one for Mercedes in 2022, but the Silver Arrows seemed to have a stronger outing in the second practice session of the day, with both drivers running in the top 10 for much of the hour.

Elswhere, Verstappen had experienced an issue with his rear wing in Friday's first practice session, leading Christian Horner to say that the team would focus on fixing it before the second hour got underway.

The Dutchman remained in the garage during the early stages of FP2, with the mechanics seemingly working on the rear wing.

He looked to have good pace when he eventually hit the track, though had a flying lap scuppered in the second half of the session when teammate Perez ran wide at Turn 16, bringing out the yellow flags.

Several drivers had made the a trip down the escape road in FP1, and history repeated in FP2. Lando Norris did so early in the session, and others followed during the hour, including Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen.

Even the likes Leclerc were not immune. The Monegasque briefly brought out the yellow flags when he locked up into Turn 7.

Some in the field got up close and personal with the barriers during the hour. Alex Albon made contact with the wall at Turn 17, resulting in a trip back to the pits to assess any damage.

Ones to watch

AlphaTauri continued to look impressive, with another particularly strong session for Yuki Tsunoda. The Japanese driver achieved a good result in Baku last year, so will be hoping to continue his momentum this weekend.

Tsunoda's teammate Pierre Gasly – whose future has been a subject of discussion recently – also had a solid outing in FP2.

Alpine have been attracting attention, too. Alonso had another good run following his P5 finish in FP1 and, like Tsunoda, will be looking to repeat his points-scoring result from 2021.

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F1 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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