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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc fastest ahead of surprise nearest challenger in FP2

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc led the way from McLaren's Lando Norris during second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Leclerc Hongarije
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Charles Leclerc ensured that Ferrari topped both of Friday's practice sessions for the Hungarian Grand Prix by setting the pace in FP2.

Having led the Medium-tyre runs, Leclerc produced a time of 1:18:445 when he switched to Soft tyres to keep his place at the top of the timesheets.

Rather than teammate Carlos Sainz – who set the pace in FP1 – or Red Bull rival Max Verstappen, it was McLaren's Lando Norris who finished as Leclerc's nearest challenger.

Norris built on his encouraging display in opening practice to finish just over two-tenths away from Leclerc, splitting the Ferraris in the process.

Sainz was left to lament traffic after placing third, describing Williams driver Nicholas Latifi as a "stupid guy" for compromising his Soft-shod effort.

F1 title holder and championship leader Verstappen wound up fourth, with Daniel Ricciardo also getting inside the top five to complete a strong first day for McLaren.

Result Free practice 2 - Hungarian

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

Mercedes drivers frustrated over gap to the leaders

While McLaren mixed it with the frontrunners, the Mercedes drivers were unable to make an impression as the pace ramped up at the Hungaroring.

George Russell ended the day eighth, almost a second off the pace, behind Fernando Alonso's Alpine and the retiring Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin.

Russell reported that "overall grips feels very weak", before wondering "what the hell is going on at Turn 1" where he "couldn't get around the corner without locking".

Lewis Hamilton was a couple of tenths further back in the other Mercedes (P11), having also been left amazed at his 1.9s deficit to Leclerc on the early Medium runs.

Sergio Perez had another low-key session, finishing more than half a second behind teammate Verstappen in ninth, with Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas completing the top 10.

In an otherwise quiet session, Alex Albon survived a wild spin in his Williams at Turn 1, albeit ruining a set of Soft tyres in the process.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Does Leclerc make too many mistakes to become F1 champion?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the French Grand Prix, including Charles Leclerc dramatically spinning out of the lead.

F1 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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