Leclerc continues his good start in Ferrari while Gasly crushes



Ferrari's pre-season testing continued on day two as Charles Leclerc's 1m18.247 put the team at the top of the timekeeping screens and allowed him to cover more miles.

After Sebastian Vettel set the tone on the first day – the one he described as incredible – Christian Horner admitted he was impressed by lap time – Leclerc was just 0.086 seconds behind that his new teammate on his first day in the SF90. tire compound. Vettel made 169 laps on Monday and Leclerc was only 12 laps behind the benchmark, although both Mercedes drivers exceeded that total.

There was an impression of déjà vu when we looked at the standings at the end of the day. McLaren again passed 100 laps and was second on the timing screens.

This time, Lando Norris was driving, but in the same way that Leclerc – who had his best time on the same morning in the same C3 complex as Vettel – the best time of the rookie was recorded in the last moments of the C4 complex just as Carlos Sainz had done on Monday. Norris was also 0.005s faster than Sainz, with his last lap of 1m18.553s just 0.005s faster than the Spaniard.

The striking similarities continued with Haas in third place, but fighting for the mileage, with Kevin Magnussen running just 59 laps – eight fewer than Romain Grosjean yesterday. The Dane had to end his race early because of a problem of adjustment that forced Pietro Fittipaldi to take over and add 13 laps at the end of the day. Magnussen's best time, with a time of 1m19.206, was less than 0.05s on Grosjean's best at day one and pretty good for third.

Alexander Albon's debut in an F1 practice session got off to a bad start when he spun in his exit lap, showing the first red flag of the day after only a few minutes, but an alleged problem of direction was to blame. A more conventional bend approaching the hairpin later did not cause any damage and the Thai driver duly finished the day in fourth place with 132 laps to his credit.

Albon's best lap of 1m19.301 was also accelerated by 0.163 seconds over teammate Daniil Kvyat on Monday. The two Toro Rosso riders achieved their best lap in the C4 complex, which is equivalent to last year's super performance.

Rather than being considered a form guide at this stage, the rehearsal highlights similar programs offered by most alternating teams.

Antonio Giovinazzi was fifth – just like Kimi Raikkonen for Alfa Romeo on the first day – while the Italian just passed the 100-lap mark at the end of the day. Giovinazzi's lap time of 1m19.312s was a little 0.1s faster than Raikkonen's, but on Tuesday the softer C4 tire benchmark was set.

While the majority of teams almost at the top of the time had relatively mild days, the same could not be said of Red Bull or Renault. Pierre Gasly began to familiarize himself with the RB15 and continued his race in depth until just over an hour before the finish. He then lost the rear at turn 13 and passed through the barrier.

The back of the car was damaged enough to prevent Gasly from coming back in the last hour, leaving him seventh overall behind Valtteri Bottas.

Gasly's final count, 92, was three points behind Nico Hulkenberg's total despite Daniel Ricciardo's German replacement for the afternoon session. Ricciardo had a scary moment in the morning when he lost the top of his rear wing and spun off at Turn 1, but managed to get the car back to the garage.

The incident ended the day after 28 laps. Renault investigated before sending Hulkenberg beyond the race, after lunch.

Lance Stroll gave Racing Point solid performances after only 30 laps on the first day, including 79 more on Tuesday. However, it was another day without Williams, the team having already announced its intention to miss the second day of racing due to delays with the FW42.

Williams confirmed to RACER that the car should arrive on the circuit in the early hours of Wednesday morning, which should result in its first appearance after lunch on the third day.


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