FP2 REPORT: Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two as Hamilton hits the wall

07-06-2019 20:30
by Jake Williams-Smith
FP2 REPORT: Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two as Hamilton hits the wall

Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two from teammate Sebastian Vettel in free practice two as the Scuderia stole back the advantage from Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton finished in sixth place after hitting the wall at the second chicane.

Robert Kubica got out on track immediately having given up his first practice session for Canadian Formula 2 driver Nicholas Latifi. Others did eventually follow and the track was buzzing with action after an initial 10-minute lull.

Leclerc and Vettel were the first two big hitters out on track, the Monegasque driver maintaining an advantage over his teammate.

Mercedes split both their drivers with Hamilton on mediums and Valtteri Bottas on hard tyres and the Finn’s immediate pace might have rivals worried, going just 0.3s slower than his teammate.

It wasn’t all straightforward though for the champion though. Hamilton lost it at the second chicane and tagged the wall heavily, causing a puncture and was forced to immediately pit for repairs. It put him out of the car and into discussions with his engineers as the damage was repaired.

Bottas set the timing screens alight as his teammate was forced out, going 0.6s clear initially on the soft tyres. Vettel immediately went quicker though on the first proper run by either Ferrari driver of the weekend. Not to be outdone, teammate Leclerc went one better to the delight of the Canadian crowd.

The battle in the midfield looked to have changed once again as Renault emerged as a contender, behind only Kevin Magnussen at the halfway stage of the session.

Max Verstappen was the next to have a close shave with the walls. Teammate Pierre Gasly was cruising through the final chicane as the Dutchman approached on his fast lap and possibly served as a distraction, the front right of the Red Bull brushing the ‘Wall of Champions’.

While his rivals continued on track, the rear of Hamilton’s W10 was taken apart and replaced as a precaution, ending his session.

Carlos Sainz continued McLaren's strong showing from the morning session, ending FP2 in fourth position, 0.3s clear of the closest midfield rival in Magnussen.

Race simulations filled the last half hour of the session and the hot weather and green track had many drivers reporting a lack of grip. The soft Pirelli tyres look to be the wrong race tyre however Vettel and Leclerc complained about the mediums also. Graining could be a huge issue come Sunday.

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