SAO PAULO GP – Fernando Alonso fastest in second practice by eight tenths

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Fernando Alonso was fastest in second practice for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the Alpine driver set an 11.238 which put him eight tenths ahead of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. The second practice session saw man of the teams focusing on their long runs, ahead of the race tomorrow.

Alpine have been a bit of a surprise this weekend looking to be fastest of the midfield group and challenging for the best of the rest. Verstappen going second just over four and a half tenths ahead of Valtteri Bottas with his championship rival Lewis Hamilton fifth.

However, both Verstappen and Hamilton are under investigation for separate incidents following qualifying. Hamilton for a DRS infringement in Friday qualifying, circulated without apparently using the overtaking aid on a new, identical Mercedes rear wing, his original wing assembly still impounded by the FIA for investigation.

While Verstappen has been found gulity for breaching parc ferme rules after touching the Mercedes following qualifying.  The dutchman being fined €50,000 for touching Hamilton’s car breaching Article 2.5.1 of the FIA International Sporting Code.

The section of the International Sporting Code states that “inside the parc ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations.”

Meanwhile Hamilton has been excluded from the traditional qualifying and will start sprint qualifying from the back. The stewards ruled that the DRS infringement was not compliant with the rules, and noted that there was “absolutely no movement” when Verstappen touched Hamilton’s wing, and that he used an “insignificant force”.

Esteban Ocon going fourth separating the two Mercedes after going three and a half tenths ahead of Hamilton, with the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez sixth.

Antonio Giovinazzi showed good pace in the Alfa Romeo going seventh fastest nine hundredths ahead of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, while his teammate Kimi Raikkonen was tenth. Alfa Romeo could be the surprise given the strong race pace shown starting from fourteenth and fifteenth for the sprint. Lance Stroll rounding out the top ten.

Daniel Ricciardo was twelfth fastest, going three hundredths faster than his teammate Lando Norris. Pierre Gasly was almost three hundredths further behind in his Alpha Tauri, while his teammate Yuki Tsunoda was sixteenth. The two being spilt by the Williams of George Russell.

Sebastian Vettel was seventeenth fastest ahead of Nicolas Latifi, while Mick Schumacher was over eight tenths ahead of teammate Nikita Mazepin.



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