Lewis Hamilton pulled out a 0.7 second gap over the rest of the Formula 1 field during second practice for the French Grand Prix on Friday afternoon at Paul Ricard as Sergio Perez suffered a frightening wheel failure while running at high speed.

After topping the timesheets in opening practice on Friday morning in France, Hamilton managed to double up by storming to the head of the field, albeit with a time three-tenths of a second slower than his best FP1 effort as the track got slower between the two sessions.

Hamilton's best FP2 time of 1m32.539s was good enough to give him top spot by 0.704 seconds ahead of Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, with the trio all completing their fastest lap time on the Ultrasoft compound tyre.

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While Hamilton was able to spearhead Mercedes' charge, teammate Valtteri bottas was limited to just seven laps due to a water leak on his car that forced the team to bring his session to an early end, with the Finn finishing down in seventh overall, 1.6 seconds off the top.

Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel took fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Haas' Romain Grosjean, who continued his impressive start to the race weekend to slot into sixth overall.

Fernando Alonso led McLaren into the top 10 by finishing in eighth place with a late Ultrasoft lap, finishing ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly for Haas and Toro Rosso respectively. Alonso was fortunate not to end the session in the wall, though, spinning out at Turn 4 with just a minute left on the clock.

Gasly's Toro Rosso teammate, Brendon Hartley, saw no upturn in his recent fortunes as he was forced to park up at the side of the track due to a possible engine issue on his car in the final 10 minutes, stopping at Turn 9.

There was worse news for Force India's Sergio Perez, who suffered a loose rear-left wheel while coming through the quick kink at Turn 7, causing his car to spin. The wheel stopped in the middle of the track before being recovered under a red flag, with Perez's car being taken back to the garage on the back of a flatbed truck.

Running resumes at Paul Ricard with Free Practice 3 at 1pm CEST on Saturday.

FORMULA 1 FRENCH GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE 2 RESULTS

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