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Max third after Friday practice at Paul Ricard

Published on 22 July 2022 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen finished Friday practice of the French Grand Prix in third place. Carlos Sainz was quickest in FP2, ahead of Ferrari colleague Charles Leclerc. Max’ Oracle Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez was only tenth fastest.

“The second practice session was a bit more difficult for us”, said Max after the day’s running. “We didn’t have the balance we hoped for, but we did try a few different things with the car. We’ll dig into the data and we’ll try to get closer tomorrow. The long runs were a little better but because the tyres get so hot, it’s difficult to gauge where we are. We definitely have work to do.”

At the start of FP2, the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing fans have to wait a while before their drivers hit the track. It is not until fifteen minutes into the session that the championship challengers venture onto the Paul Ricard asphalt.

When they eventually do, it is Fernando Alonso that leads the way. Soon after, Kevin Magnussen in the Haas robs top spot from the Alpine driver, after which George Russell is the last driver not driving a Red Bull of Ferrari to top the leader boards during the session.

Sporting the medium Pirelli tyres, Max’ first timed lap grants him P1 briefly, before both Ferraris take control of the session. On their respective first efforts on the soft compound, Sainz and Leclerc trade fastest laps.

After the halfway point, with most drivers switching to qualifying simulations on the soft tyres, Max is still unable to match the Ferraris and has to settle for third quickest whilst reporting to the team that he suffers with “a lot of understeer in the first sector.”

In the final quarter, the teams resume race preparations and embark on longer stints that do not result in quicker times, meaning Max finishes Friday practice in third place.

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Results second free practice France:

1Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:32.527 22
2Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:32.628+0.101s22
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing RBPT1:33.077+0.550s17
4George RussellRUSMercedes1:33.291+0.764s20
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:33.517+0.990s23
6Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:33.607+1.080s21
7Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri RBPT1:33.906+1.379s24
8Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:33.928+1.401s24
9Nyck De VriesDEVMercedes1:35.426+1.496s23
9Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:33.984+1.457s23
10Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing RBPT1:34.060+1.533s16
11Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:34.259+1.732s24
12Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:34.264+1.737s27
13Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:34.420+1.893s27
14Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri RBPT1:34.540+2.013s24
15Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:34.595+2.068s26
16Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:34.653+2.126s23
17Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:34.654+2.127s26
18Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:34.660+2.133s26
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:35.195+2.668s22
19Robert KubicaKUBAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:36.332+2.402s19
20Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:35.412+2.885s27