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Russell fastest in Mexican Grand Prix second practice as Leclerc crashes

George Russell topped the Pirelli tyre FP2 session at the Mexican Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc suffered a hefty crash for Ferrari.

George Russell set the pace in the second Formula 1 practice session at the Mexican Grand Prix, as Charles Leclerc crashed heavily during the Pirelli tyre test. The session was extended by 30 minutes to 90 minutes to allow Pirelli to test 2023 rubber, similar to the second session in Austin last weekend. Drivers and teams were not allowed to alter the set-ups of their cars or use DRS with Pirelli dictating the run plans throughout the session. However, those drivers, including Russell, who missed FP1 for rookie drivers were allowed 45 minutes to focus on their own running before switching attention to the Pirelli test. A 1:19.970s effort from Russell on the Soft tyres was enough to secure him P1, with Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon slotting in behind, having also missed the morning session.

Hamilton fastest of the dedicated Pirelli test runners

For those drivers who focused exclusively on the tyre testing, it was Russell's Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton who went quickest. A 1:21.509s was 1.539s slower than Russell's time, but was about one tenth of a second clear of the Red Bull duo of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen - the Mexican once again finishing ahead of his World Champion teammate, as he had done in FP1. Leclerc was also tyre testing but, after posting the seventh quickest time, backed the Ferrari into the wall at Turn 7, causing a red flag for barrier repairs. The rear of the Ferrari was destroyed in the heavy shunt, but Leclerc was able to clamber out of the wrecked car and return to the pits. Teammate Carlos Sainz was eighth quickest, having gone fastest in FP1, with Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10.

Alonso just outside top 10

Fernando Alonso claimed 11th for Alpine, 0.034s clear of fellow World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin, with Alex Albon doing well to be within a tenth in the Williams to place 13th, having also given up his seat for FP1. Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll had quiet sessions to record 14th-16th, about 2.7s slower than Russell.

Trouble for Magnussen

After giving up his Haas car to Pietro Fittipaldi for FP1, Kevin Magnussen was delayed getting out in FP2 after an engine failure for the Haas reserve driver in FP1. Magnussen's car was subsequently fitted with a new Internal Combustion Engine, earning himself a five-place grid drop for the privilege. He was about half-a-second slower than Mick Schumacher as Haas took 17th and 18th, with Nicholas Latifi and Zhou Guanyu finishing last but one and last, respectively.

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