Sainz leads as Ferrari dominates second French GP practice


 Ferrari dominated second practice at the French Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz leading Charles Leclerc in the top two spots. Max Verstappen was more than half a second adrift in third.

Sainz, who will start the race no higher than 10th thanks to a power unit change penalty, set a session-best time of 1m 32.527s to edge his teammate by just 0.101s. The Spaniard set his quickest lap on his second flyer on the soft tire despite the sweltering track temperature of 131 degrees F.

Verstappen had no answer to Ferrari’s one-lap pace and elected to skip straight to his long-run work afterwards. He ended the hour 0.55s off the pace and complaining of understeer in his RB18, the same problem having afflicted him in the first session earlier in the day.

The Mercedes teammates followed, with George Russell only 0.2s adrift of Verstappen, albeit three-quarters of a second off the headline time. Lewis Hamilton, taking back control of his W13 after Nyck de Vries commandeered it for first practice, was 0.2s slower than his teammate.

Lando Norris was sixth in the upgraded McLaren aero package, having been using the old kit in FP1 to establish baseline data for evaluation. He was more than a second off the pace but a comfortable 0.3s quicker than the rest of the midfield.

Pierre Gasly was next in the order in his updated AlphaTauri, the Frenchman less than 0.1s quicker that Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who was a similar distance from the second McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo in ninth.

Sergio Perez completed the top 10 in the second Red Bull Racing machine, 1.5s off the pace, with team boss Christian Horner saying after the session that the Mexican was operating with a different run program for the afternoonFernando Alonso was 11th for Alpine ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel.

Yuki Tsunoda beat Lance Stroll to 14th at more than 2s off the pace. Alex Albon followed ahead of Zhou Guanyu and Esteban Oco

Mick Schumacher was 19th, with Nicholas Latifi rounding out the order in 20t


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