Are Mercedes back? George Russell sets the pace in P2, a tenth ahead of Charles Leclerc; Lewis Hamilton fourth while Carlos Sainz crashes Ferrari and Max Verstappen has reliability issues in Red Bull; Watch whole Miami GP weekend live only on Sky Sports F1
By Matt Morlidge in Miami
Last Updated: 06/05/22 11:51pm
George Russell capped an impressive opening day for Mercedes at the inaugural Miami GP by topping Practice Two, as F1’s world champions sent a statement with much-improved pace while their rivals hit issues.
Mercedes have been lacking pace all season but appear to finally be in contention following make-or-break upgrades in America, where a genuine three-team battle could headline a much-anticipated street race.
Russell led Mercedes’ charge on Friday and, after placing second in the opening session, was fastest overall in the cooler P2, beating Charles Leclerc by a tenth of a second with his 1:29.938.
Sergio Perez was third for Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton fourth and two-tenths off his young Mercedes team-mate Russell, who he also trails in the championship.
But in truth, Mercedes could not have asked for a better start to the weekend – particularly as F1 2022’s fastest teams Ferrari and Red Bull both suffered in second practice.
Carlos Sainz, after back-to-back shunts in Australia and Imola, crashed his Ferrari to bring out a red flag, while Max Verstappen completed only one disrupted lap in the session with reliability issues.
In Sainz (11th) and Verstappen’s (19th) absence from the front, Lando Norris ensured McLaren go into the weekend with high hopes after placing fifth, while Pierre Gasly wasn’t far behind in a competitive AlphaTauri.
Valtteri Bottas, like Verstappen, didn’t get a time on the board at all, failing to even make it out of the garage after his P1 garage.
More to follow…