Alonso fastest in final practice as F1 awaits crucial verdict

Fernando Alonso was fastest in second practice at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix as Formula 1 continues to wait for a decision from the stewards on an investigation involving Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.  
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521.

2021 F1 championship contenders Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are under ongoing investigations for separate alleged offences following Friday qualifying in Brazil. 

Verstappen was called to see the stewards on Saturday morning after footage showed him touching the rear wing on the Mercedes of Hamilton, who in turn is being investigated for an apparent DRS-related breach.

The verdict could have huge ramifications on the outcome of this year’s world title. 

Speaking to Sky Sports during FP2, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he “would be amazed” if Verstappen was penalised for touching Hamilton’s car.

Away from the off-track drama, focus returned to the track for the final hour-long practice session ahead of F1’s third and final sprint qualifying race later on Saturday evening. 

Alonso set the pace with a 1m11.238s to end the session 0.864s clear of Verstappen’s Red Bull, though times should not be taken at face value given teams were on different run plans and spent FP2 largely prioritising race preparation ahead of the sprint and grand prix. 

Valtteri Bottas was third in his Mercedes, over a second down on Alonso’s benchmark and just half a tenth clear of the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon, who split the Mercedes drivers. 

Hamilton took fifth ahead of Sergio Perez, while Antonio Giovinazzi was seventh in his Alfa Romeo, heading the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. 

Kimi Raikkonen, who is retiring from F1 at the end of the season, completed the top 10 order for Alfa Romeo. 

Full results from second practice at the 2021 F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. 

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