Lewis Hamilton tops tight second Spanish GP practice ahead of Carlos Sainz

Lewis Hamilton shows off the pace of his Mercedes to end Friday practice in Barcelona fastest.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Lewis Hamilton edged out Carlos Sainz to set the pace in an incredibly tight second practice at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion unleashed encouraging pace from his Mercedes during the soft tyre runs to produce the fastest time around Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Friday, with a 1m13.264 seconds.

It was enough to put Hamilton top of the timesheet by just 0.022s from Ferrari’s Sainz, while FP1 pacesetter Lando Norris was only 0.055s adrift as he took third in his McLaren.

Pierre Gasly was a surprise fourth for Alpine, 0.179s behind Hamilton’s FP2 benchmark.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen was fifth-fastest, 0.240s off the pace, as he complained about the handling and balance of his RB20.

Charles Leclerc was only sixth in the second Ferrari, ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, Mercedes’ George Russell, Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and Valtteri Bottas, who completed the top-10 for Sauber.

Sergio Perez, who is carrying a three-place grid penalty into the Barcelona weekend, and struggling amid a recent form slump, was only 13th-fastest on the soft tyres - over half a second slower than Red Bull teammate Verstappen.

The top 16 finished within a second of Hamilton’s table-topping pace. 

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