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F1 Brazilian GP: Ocon fastest from Perez and Russell in final practice

Alpine Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon set the pace over Sergio Perez and George Russell in an eventless second free practice session ahead of the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The hour of FP2 running that during a sprint weekend falls between the Friday qualifying session and half-distance Saturday race has drawn widespread criticism about it uselessness.

With no need to chase one-lap pace, race runs dominated the order as Ocon came out on top despite running only with a scrubbed set of the red-walled soft tyres over Red Bull’s Perez.

The Ferraris led the way initially as soft-shod Leclerc lapped in 1m15.868s to hold a couple of tenths over medium-tyred team-mate Sainz before Russell moved to the top for some time.

He ran on the softest C4 compound to a 1m15.115s and then improved by another 0.2s to sit 0.57s clear of hard-tyre benchmark Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Friday qualifying star Kevin Magnussen, who set the pace on the C3 yellow-walled medium tyres.

After the 2023 Pirelli tyre tests that took over FP2 in the United States and Mexico, the pre-sprint practice was similarly tedious as race simulations dominated the opening half an hour.

The Ferraris, for instance, were only sixth and seventh as Max Verstappen was 12th on hards.

Notably, Nicholas Latifi locked up his inside wheel heavily into the penultimate corner that leads up the hill to the timing line, meaning he ploughed over the grass before rejoining.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Fitted with a scrubbed set of softs, Ocon was finally able to demote Russell as the Alpine driver posted the fastest first sector of the session at that point to drop his time to 1m14.604s.

Hamilton improved to third on his next run on used softs, lapping 0.22s off his team-mate.

The Red Bulls then put themselves in the mix with 20 minutes to go as, on their first runs on used softs, Perez ran to second (0.184s down) and Verstappen fourth to split the Mercedes.

With no late flurry of qualifying simulations as per a conventional F1 weekend, Ocon remained on top over Perez and Russell, while team-mate Fernando Alonso ran to fourth.

Verstappen completed the top five ahead of Hamilton, Gasly and under-threat Haas driver Mick Schumacher who extracted 0.15s over his ninth-quickest stablemate Magnussen.

Lando Norris completed the top 10 over Sainz as Leclerc ran to 13th behind Yuki Tsunoda. Daniel Ricciardo, who complained of snaps over oversteer across compounds, was 14th.

In the only change to the regular driver line-ups, Logan Sargeant replaced Alex Albon in the Williams as he seeks to earn the superlicence points to lock in his F1 promotion for 2023.

The American FIA F2 racer propped up the times and exited the car with 10 minutes to run.

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix - FP2 results

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 28 1'14.604    
2 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 36 1'14.788 0.184 0.184
3 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes 31 1'14.916 0.312 0.128
4 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 29 1'15.049 0.445 0.133
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 30 1'15.098 0.494 0.049
6 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 33 1'15.137 0.533 0.039
7 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 32 1'15.636 1.032 0.499
8 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 40 1'15.684 1.080 0.048
9 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 38 1'15.815 1.211 0.131
10 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 25 1'15.851 1.247 0.036
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari 38 1'15.856 1.252 0.005
12 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 32 1'15.865 1.261 0.009
13 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 37 1'15.868 1.264 0.003
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 28 1'15.994 1.390 0.126
15 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 34 1'16.047 1.443 0.053
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 34 1'16.181 1.577 0.134
17 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 43 1'16.263 1.659 0.082
18 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 44 1'16.400 1.796 0.137
19 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 37 1'16.468 1.864 0.068
20 United States Logan Sargeant Williams 28 1'16.480 1.876 0.012

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