Having led a Ferrari 1-2 in opening practice, Leclerc bettered his FP1 benchmark with a 1m19.670s around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to double up on Friday as the championship leader headed both practice sessions. 

He was joined at the top of the FP2 order by Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who both enjoyed an encouragingly-competitive showing for the reigning world champions. 

Russell ended up just 0.117s behind Leclerc in Mercedes’ upgraded W13, while teammate Hamilton was a further 0.087s adrift. 

Carlos Sainz was fourth-fastest but over three-tenths down on his Ferrari teammate, while Max Verstappen took fifth. 

The Red Bull driver was 0.336s behind his main title rival Leclerc, who leads the world championship standings by 19 points after the first five rounds. 

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso got within half a second of Leclerc with a lap good enough for sixth as he split the Red Bulls, with Sergio Perez a sizeable chunk behind. 

Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon and Mick Schumacher completed the rest of the top 10 for Aston Martin, Alpine and Haas respectively. 

There was trouble for Valtteri Bottas, whose Alfa Romeo broke down at Turn 2 on just his third lap of the session. 

Bottas’ best lap on mediums still kept him ahead of teammate Guanyu Zhou, who returned to action after sitting out FP1 as reserve driver Robert Kubica deputised. 

Lando Norris was left at the very bottom of the timings after damaging the floor of his McLaren during a wide moment at Turn 9 early in the session.