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Verstappen storms to top spot to fire warning signs

Max Verstappen wasted little time in capturing the P1 spot in the early stages of the afternoon running, with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz completing the top three.

The reigning World Champion took the initiative by swiftly moving to the top of the timesheets in the early exchanges of the afternoon running of test day two. Following Carlos Sainz's successful morning for Ferrari , Verstappen didn't take long to claim P1 by setting a time six tenths of a second faster, using the same C3 tyre that Sainz had used earlier in the day. The Red Bull driver followed that up by setting the best lap of the test so far, a 1:31.650, to go eight tenths faster than their rival team. However, after 18 laps of running in the afternoon, the Dutchman spent an extensive amount of time in the garage, which the team will hope to recover from in the later stages of the afternoon session. The team elected to close the garage doors, which is only permitted for extensive changes, but the exact nature of the modifications is yet to be determined. Sainz was also pipped by Haas' Nico Hulkenberg, who used the faster C4 tyres to vault towards the sharp end of the standings.

Following his faster lap times in the morning, Williams' Logan Sargeant focussed on longer runs in the afternoon, and fell to P4, ahead of Charles Leclerc, who didn't trouble the faster lap times on his longer C3 run. Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and Alfa Romeo's Guanyu Zhou continued their full-day programmes in P6 & P7, with afternoon runner Oscar Piastri putting his McLaren MCL60 in P8. Mercedes were still far away from the headline times, and George Russell completed a comparatively low lap count of 20, and setting a time only good enough for P12. AlphaTauri remain the team with the highest lap count, with Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries registering over 125 lap so far today.

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