George Russell brought Mercedes back to the top after setting the fastest lap in the second practice of the Miami Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen experienced a catastrophe, managing only an out lap.
The second practice began in somewhat cooler circumstances than the first, with Max Verstappen spending the majority of the session in the garage as Red Bull worked on his car after making a precautionary gearbox change following his collision with the wall in FP1.
Valtteri Bottas didn’t make an appearance because Alfa Romeo didn’t have enough time to repair his car after he crashed in the first practice session, resulting in the first red flag of the weekend.
Carlos Sainz was on top of the times after little over ten minutes on the circuit, with a 1:30.964 on the medium compound, beating his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc’s best FP1 time.
Unfortunately for the Spaniard, his session came to an end a few minutes later when he swerved and smashed his F1-75 into the barriers. After spinning and puncturing, Sainz was unable to establish a time on the soft tyres.
Carlos Sainz climbed out of his wrecked Ferrari, as the red flags came out, and the practice came to a halt for almost ten minutes while the wreckage was moved away from the track.
The session eventually resumed, but Verstappen, who had not yet recorded a time, immediately complained of heavy steering on his Red Bull.
Verstappen’s car got increasingly difficult to handle as he progressed around the lap, until a telltale fire appeared on his right-rear brake component. He recovered his vehicle slowly back to the pits, obstructing many of his rivals in the process, but he would spend the rest of the hour in the garage.
As the vehicles took to the track for the second and final Friday session, the temperature had only dropped a single degree. In the early minutes, all runners chose the medium compound tyres in order to acquire long run data after acclimating to the circuit in the previous session.
Haas’ Mick Schumacher abandoned his first run of second practice after reporting that the bodywork on the sidepod of his car was being lifted by the air flowing over the car at high speed. The difficulty for Haas was compounded when Kevin Magnussen’s sister car suffered the same damage, requiring both cars to return to the garage.
With numerous teams switching to soft tyres, Lewis Hamilton temporarily led the field before Charles Leclerc reclaimed the lead with his first lap on the red walled tyres. George Russell was then the first driver to break the 90-second barrier, clocking a time of 1’29.938 to finish the first overall.
The red flags flew for the second time in an hour after Nicholas Latifi pulled off the track at turn nine, citing fears that one of his wheels was not firmly fastened to his Williams. This brought the session to a halt and spoiled several long runs for those on the track at the time.
The session was restarted after another brief pause. Magnussen spun at turn seven, similar to Bottas’s first practice mishap, although he avoided the barriers, unlike the Alfa Romeo. Both Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel spun their vehicles at turn 11, although both were able to recover.
Russell would end Friday as Mercedes’ fastest driver, only the second time a Mercedes has finished first in a practice session this season, with no upgrades at the top of the timing screen.
Leclerc finished second, a tenth slower than Russell’s best performance of the day. In the Red Bull, Perez was third fastest, over three-hundredths of a second ahead of Hamilton in fourth.
Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu, and Esteban Ocon were the Alpine drivers that finished fifth and sixth respectively. Magnussen completed the top ten list.
2022 Miami Grand Prix second practice result
|3||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||RB18||1’30.150||0.212||19|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||AT03||1’30.547||0.609||20|
|8||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||C42||1’30.860||0.922||24|
|11||55||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Ferrari||F1-75||1’30.964||1.026||9|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||AT03||1’31.260||1.322||23|
|14||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||AMR22||1’31.393||1.455||23|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||AMR22||1’31.631||1.693||23|
|19||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||RB18||No time||1|
|20||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||C42||No time||0|