Spanish GP: Charles Leclerc tops FP2 as Mercedes once again look to have improved

Charles Leclerc went fastest in FP2 on Friday afternoon at the Spanish Grand Prix, ahead of the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

The Ferrari man needs to hit back this weekend after seeing Max Verstappen chip away at his Drivers’ standings lead in the last couple of Grands Prix, and he has set himself up nicely to do that here in Spain.

Indeed, after topping FP1 earlier on in the day, the Monegasque would take P1 again in the second session at what was a very warm Circuit de Catalunya.

The story of FP2, though, may well be the improved pace of the Mercedes with them looking as though the updates they have brought to Spain are beginning to work in terms of them getting on top of porpoising.

Indeed, George Russell found himself second quickest for the session, whilst team-mate Lewis Hamilton was just behind in third – with the top three covered by just two tenths.

In fourth, Carlos Sainz for Ferrari whilst Max Verstappen produced the fifth quickest time in his Red Bull.

His team-mate Sergio Perez found himself in seventh place behind Fernando Alonso in P6, whilst Sebastian Vettel in an upgraded Aston Martin car chalked up the 8th quickest time, ahead of Esteban Ocon and Mick Schumacher.

Haas, of course, are the only team here in Barcelona that have not brought upgrades to their car for this weekend, but Schumacher, and Kevin Magnussen in P12 for that matter, showed that they still have pace.

George Russell drives in Spain
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 20: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 20, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Most, though, have brought upgrades and in terms of whose might be working best, at this early stage, it looks as though it might well be Mercedes.

The Silver Arrows, though, will be all too aware that they were quick on Friday before losing ground last time out in Miami, and so time will tell as to whether they really have started to crack the W13.

Tomorrow sees FP3 followed by qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix!

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