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Leclerc smashes up Ferrari as Russell sets the day's leading time

Leclerc smashes up Ferrari as Russell sets the day's leading time

F1 News

Leclerc smashes up Ferrari as Russell sets the day's leading time

Leclerc smashes up Ferrari as Russell sets the day's leading time

Charles Leclerc handed his team a headache after smashing his Ferrari during the second practice session for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

As with FP2 for the United States Grand Prix last weekend, the second session was given over to the testing of Pirelli's latest prototype tyres and extended to 90 minutes rather than running for the usual 60.

Leclerc, however, lasted just 32 minutes as he lost control of his SF75 through the medium-speed turn-eight left-hander, sliding backwards across the run-off area and slamming the rear of the car into a barrier.

The clean-up operation, which included repairs to the barrier itself, lasted 20 minutes, effectively restricting the session overall to 70 minutes.

At the conclusion, Mercedes' George Russell was quickest, although that was to be expected as he was one of the five drivers who sat out FP1 to allow a rookie a run, with Nyck de Vries taking over for his final outing with the team before his winter switch to AlphaTauri.

Russell, AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda, Esteban Ocon for Alpine, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and Williams' Alex Albon were each allowed up to 45 minutes of free running before then joining in the Pirelli test with their 15 rivals.

Russell topped the timesheet with a lap of one minute 19.970secs, eight-tenths of a second quicker than Carlos Sainz's leading from FP1 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The Briton also finished 0.828s faster than Tsunoda on this season's rubber, with Ocon 1.207s adrift of the 24-year-old.

Hamilton was fastest on the prototype tyres, and fourth on the timesheet overall, 1.539s down on his Mercedes team-mate.

Pirelli boss Mario Isola has suggested the gap between the two types of rubber is more to do with the fact the drivers are not pushing hard on next year's compounds

Despite that, many drivers were still sliding considerably around the circuit.

Hamilton was followed by Red Bull duo Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, with the trio separated by less than a tenth of a second, while Leclerc was sixth quickest, 1.648s behind Russell.

As for the other two drivers allowed to run on this year's tyres, Albon was 13th on the timesheet, 2.477s off the pace, with Magnussen 18th and 3.346s down.

Magnussen, meanwhile, faces a five-place penalty for an internal combustion engine change after a Ferrari system blew in FP1 with reserve Pietro Fittipaldi at the wheel.

As in FP1, the session finished under red-flag conditions and a few minutes early after Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu pulled off track in the stadium section, citing a hydraulics failure.

Mexico City Grand Prix second practice results

1. George Russell [Mercedes] 1:19.970s

2. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +0.828s

3. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] +1.207s

4. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] +1.539s

5. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] +1.609s

6. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] +1.618s

7. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +1.648s

8. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +1.723s

9. Valtteri Bottas [Alfa Romeo] +2.023s

10. Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] +2.134s

11. Fernando Alonso [Alpine] +2.367s

12. Sebastian Vettel [Aston Martin] +2.401s

13. Alexander Albon [Williams] +2.477s

14. Lando Norris [McLaren] +2.768s

15. Daniel Ricciardo [McLaren] +2.793s

16. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] +2.870s

17. Mick Schumacher [Haas] +2.909s

18. Kevin Magnussen [Haas] +3.346s

19. Nicholas Latifi [Williams] +3.350s

20. Zhou Guanyu [Alfa Romeo] +3.399s

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