F1 Brazilian GP: Alonso quickest in FP2 session from Verstappen

Alpine's Fernando Alonso was quickest in second free practice for the Formula 1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, holding off Red Bull's Max Verstappen in a session overshadowed by off-track intrigue.

F1 Brazilian GP: Alonso quickest in FP2 session from Verstappen

Brazil's second practice session got underway without a long-awaited decision on Lewis Hamilton's rear wing case or Verstappen's parc ferme dalliance, with potential penalties for either title contender hanging over the Interlagos weekend - and the 2021 title fight at large - like a dark cloud.

Kimi Raikkonen opened the session with a 1m14.604s on medium tyres as all four Alfa Romeo and Haas cars warmed up the track during the opening stages of the one-hour session.

AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda briefly took top before the 10-minute mark but was immediately deposed by Sergio Perez, who clocked a 1m13.219s in his soft-shod Red Bull.

Teammate Verstappen followed suit and immediately established three purple sectors on his way to a 1m12.102s on the softs, while Hamilton and the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas remained in the garage unhurried.

Alpine's Esteban Ocon split the two Red Bulls with a medium tyre lap just under a second away from Verstappen, with the second AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly joining Tsunoda in the top five.

Hamilton and Bottas finally entered the fray after 20 minutes for several low-key laps on softs, some two seconds off the pace in 15th and eighth respectively.

Hamilton, who is set to start today's F1 sprint from pole pending a verdict on his DRS infringement in Friday qualifying, circulated without apparently using the overtaking aid on a new, identical Mercedes rear wing, his original wing assembly still impounded by the FIA for investigation.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

After the halfway mark Perez leapfrogged Ocon to make it a Red Bull 1-2, staying eight tenths down on Verstappen with a 1m12.903s lap on mediums, both Red Bulls moving to longer stints on the yellow marked tyre.

As teams focused on preparing Saturday's third and final 100km sprint race of the season, which will set the grid for Sunday's grand prix, FP2's top spot became low hanging fruit for Alpine's Alonso.

With 20 minutes left the Spaniard vaulted to the top of the leaderboard on softs, dipping eight tenths below Verstappen's erstwhile benchmark with a 1m11.238s as laptimes were still over three seconds removed from Friday's qualifying session.

Alonso's time held until the end ahead of Verstappen, while Bottas took third with a late effort on softs, 1.1s behind the Alpine driver.

Ocon was fourth while Hamilton moved up to P5 in the final minutes of the session during a longer soft tyre stint.

Perez was sixth followed by Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

Raikkonen ended up in 10th, narrowly ahead of Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

McLaren pair Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finished 12th and 13th respectively, ahead of Gasly, Williams man George Russell and Tsunoda.

Sebastian Vettel was 17th in the second Aston, followed by the second Williams of Nicholas Latifi.

The bottom of the table was a familiar sight as the two Haas cars of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin propped up the timesheets.

Brazil's F1 sprint starts at 7:30pm GMT, with a decision on Hamilton's rear wing infringement expected imminently.

F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix free practice 2 results

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Time Gap
1 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 1'11.238  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1'12.102 0.864
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 1'12.355 1.117
4 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1'12.407 1.169
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'12.741 1.503
6 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Honda 1'12.903 1.665
7 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'12.997 1.759
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr Ferrari Ferrari 1'13.078 1.840
9 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 1'13.099 1.861
10 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'13.355 2.117
11 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1'13.426 2.188
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1'13.448 2.210
13 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1'13.581 2.343
14 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1'13.608 2.370
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams Mercedes 1'13.615 2.377
16 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1'13.726 2.488
17 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 1'13.747 2.509
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1'14.025 2.787
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 1'14.066 2.828
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari 1'14.909 3.671
shares
comments
Horner would be ‘amazed’ if Verstappen got penalty for touching Hamilton’s car
Previous article

Horner would be ‘amazed’ if Verstappen got penalty for touching Hamilton’s car

Next article

Verstappen fined €50k for touching Hamilton's wing

Verstappen fined €50k for touching Hamilton's wing
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022