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Max fifth in Barcelona FP2: 'Challenging to find the right balance'

Published on 20 May 2022 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen clocked the fifth quickest time in the second free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fastest at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton completing the top three.

“It was tricky to find the right balance in the heat here”, explained Max after FP2. “Looking at our pace over one lap, we’ll have to get to work. However, the long-runs looked pretty good, so I’m happy with that. But the tyres are struggling in these conditions, and we haven’t optimised the balance. Thankfully, the conditions should remain the same for the rest of the weekend.”

At the start of the afternoon practice session, it is busy out on track. Max is keen and starts his FP2 with a five-lap stint on the medium Pirelli tyres The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver is the early pace setter in the session.

Ten minutes in, Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo has crawled to a halt, prompting race control to deploy a virtual safety car in order to remove the stricken red and white race car.

After twenty minutes, it is time for qualifying simulations. Max bolts on the soft Pirellis and sets off for two flying laps. His quickest effort is a 1:20.006, meaning the reigning champ trails pace setter Leclerc by four tenths. Meanwhile, the updated Mercedes appears to have found lap time with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell splitting the two Ferraris in second and third place.

In the final third of the session, the teams shift their focus onto long runs, which means the lap times are not bettered and the top five of Leclerc, Russell, Hamilton, Sainz and Max remains unchanged. The latter finishes the day with a 12-lap stint on the mediums, bringing his lap count to 27 laps completed in FP2.

Contest GP Spain: win a by Max Verstappen signed world championship cap!

Results second free practice Spain:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:19.670 29
2George RussellRUSMercedes1:19.787+0.117s27
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:19.874+0.204s26
4Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:19.990+0.320s31
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing RBPT1:20.006+0.336s27
6Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:20.203+0.533s26
7Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing RBPT1:20.632+0.962s30
8Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:20.703+1.033s31
9Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:20.745+1.075s27
10Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:20.757+1.087s25
11Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri RBPT1:20.917+1.247s28
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:21.013+1.343s24
13Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:21.249+1.579s32
14Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri RBPT1:21.285+1.615s29
15Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:21.385+1.715s22
16Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:21.828+2.158s3
17Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:21.866+2.196s30
18Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:22.319+2.649s31
19Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:23.197+3.527s25
20Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:23.388+3.718s6