Verstappen leads second Miami GP practice as Leclerc crashes

·2 min read

Max Verstappen topped the second practice at the Miami Grand Prix ahead of both Ferrari drivers despite Charles Leclerc crashing out of the session.

The Dutchman made easy work of the field with a soft run of 1m 27.930s, which put him 0.385s ahead of Carlos Sainz and 0.468s on Leclerc.

The Monegasque had more time to give, having ruined his flying lap with a lock-up into Turn 17 at the end of the long back straight that cost him valuable time — the smaller of Leclerc’s two major mistakes.

Having switched to his long-run simulation and into the final 10 minutes of the hour, Leclerc crashed at Turn 8.

The Ferrari driver had attempted to collect a snap of oversteer but ended up spearing through the run-off zone and firing nose-first into he barriers. Fortunately he’d scrubbed off enough speed not to appear to cause significant damage, with only the wing and front-right corner damaged. Crucially his new floor appeared unscathed.

Recovery of the car required a red flag, leaving just three minutes left on the clock when the session resumed, though no drivers improved their times.

Sergio Perez was fourth, 0.489s slower than his leading teammate. He was less than 0.3s faster than Fernando Alonso and a particularly competitive Lando Norris was only 0.811s off Verstappen’s benchmark.

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Lewis Hamilton was seventh at the end of a far less optimistic session for Mercedes following the team’s one-two finish in FP1. Hamilton was 0.928s adrift as the Mercedes car appeared to struggle with balance on the evolving circuit. Teammate George Russell was all the way down in 15th, 1.2s off the pace, after reporting that his car was three-wheeling through the left-handed Turn 2.

Lance Stroll was eighth in the second Aston Martin. Alpine teammates Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were ninth and 11th to sandwich an impressive Alex Albon in his Williams.

Kevin Magnussen was 12th for Haas despite a near miss early in the session. The Dane lost control of his Haas entering the slow Turn 14 and spun backwards, only just tagging the barrier with his front-left wheel. He reported no damage and was able to continue.

Alfa Romeo teammates Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas followed in 13th and 14th ahead of Russell.

Oscar Piastri beat Nico Hulkenberg to 16th, while AlphaTauri teammates Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries followed in 18th and 19th.

Floridian Logan Sargeant was last for Williams, 2.1s off the pace.

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Story originally appeared on Racer