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
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022