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FP2 Report | Leclerc on top amid missile attack conversations

FP2 Report | Leclerc on top amid missile attack conversations

25 March - 17:04 Last update: 18:20
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Rafael Diaz Lehmann

A 1:30.074 saw Charles Leclerc and Ferrari lead the way again in the only representative practice session of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend. Red Bull looked strong with Verstappen not too far behind, withh Mercedes a long way away from the two front-runners. However, despite the intrigue of the weekend, a much more dour discussion began. 

Questions over safety

Before FP2 took place, a meeting was called from the FIA including all of the Drivers, Team Principals, and Chiefs in Formula One. Earlier in the day an Aramco facility was alledgedly drone-struck by Yemenese rebels, causing a massive fire that could be seen from the track. Drivers have reportedly voiced their concerns with continuing the event, which caused the meeting to be called. Aramco is the title-sponsor of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with their logos seen everywhere, so concern is very much in the air. Another meeting after FP2 has been called.

Leclerc fastest despite ending session early

Ferrari looked to be the team to beat in Jeddah, setting the pace early and holding one-two with Leclerc leading Sainz for a solid chunk of FP2. However, entering a corner, championship leader Charles Leclerc glanced the wall and ended up bending his left steering arm. Topping FP2 earlier, it seemed that the Ferrari-man was on top form, but a silly mistake saw his session ended early. Leclerc then crawled back slowly to the garage and did not emerge for the rest of the session. Whether this will bite back at Leclerc is yet to be seen.

Porpoising problems persist

Many drivers seemed to be suffering with the bouncing-phenomenon on the streets of Saudi Arabia. Mercedes looked the worst out of the field with 7-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton opting to change his seat midway through the session after not feeling comfortable in it. The twin Mercedes of George Russell was also seen struggling with porpoising when the broadcast switched to his onboard, as well as Ferrari-man Carlos Sainz complaining about the bouncing on his team-radio.

Struggles continue for Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen is the only driver never to have driven the Jeddah before this weekend, so every minute spent on track is highly important. In FP1, the Dane was unable to complete any laps after an engine issue saw him garage-bound for the session. In FP2, Magnussen complained about engine problems to his team over the radio, only to completely stop on track with suspected hydraulic issues. K-Mag needs all the track-time he can this weekend and these issues are doing serious harm to his preperation for this race.

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