Leclerc fastest, Gasly crashes in blazing hot FP2

Image by Jerry Andre/LAT

Leclerc fastest, Gasly crashes in blazing hot FP2

Formula 1

Leclerc fastest, Gasly crashes in blazing hot FP2


Ferrari enjoyed another one-two in second practice for the German Grand Prix, this time with Charles Leclerc leading Sebastian Vettel as temperatures exceeded 100F.

Vettel had been fastest in the opening session but it was his teammate Leclerc who set the pace in FP2, registering a 1m13.449s to leave Vettel by 0.124s. Lewis Hamilton was a close third — 0.146s off Leclerc — despite Mercedes running significantly bigger bodywork to compensate for overheating issues suffered in Austria.

Mercedes looks unlikely to have the same issue at Hockenheim given a cooler forecast for Saturday and Sunday, although rain is predicted on both days that could shake up the order.

Regardless of the conditions the teams will face for the rest of the weekend, Red Bull faces a busy Friday evening after Pierre Gasly crashed in the final half hour of running. Gasly caught a snap of oversteer at the final corner, causing him to run wide through the gravel and be unable to regain control before hitting the wall hard.

The whole left side was significantly damaged and the session was suspended for eight minutes while the car was cleared from the track, with the incident occurring just as a number of other drivers hit trouble.

Nico Hulkenberg had suffered an issue at the end of the pit lane and was told to stop his car, with Lando Norris then being stuck behind the Renault after lining up for a practice start. McLaren had to retire the rookie as drivers are not allowed to reverse in the pit lane, but Gasly then crashed as both drivers were being pushed back to their respective garages.

There was also a problem for Max Verstappen — who ended up fifth fastest behind Valtteri Bottas but nearly 0.7s off the pace — as Red Bull called him back into the pits to resolve an issue. While he returned to set a soft tire time, Verstappen also missed out on some long running, meaning Red Bull is down on data after Gasly’s crash.

Gasly was already down in 15th place despite a soft tire attempt before he went off, with Romain Grosjean impressing as he set the sixth-fastest time. Grosjean was just ahead of Lance Stroll — again strong for Racing Point as the team tests a major aerodynamic update — with Kimi Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez bonding out the top 10.

Carlos Sainz was 11th fastest as neither McLaren finished the session in the top 10, and the Spaniard reported a brake pedal failure toward the end of the 90-minute session, pitting slightly early.