Esteban Ocon topped the times for Alpine ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in Saturday’s uneventful second practice at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old Frenchman clocked a best lap in one minute and 14.604 seconds to outpace the Mexican by 0.184 seconds. George Russell was third for Mercedes ahead of Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine, newly-acclaimed two-time world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.
Pierre Gasly was seventh for Alpha Tauri ahead of the two Haas cars of Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen, who was fastest in Friday’s rain-hit qualifying and will start from pole position in the sprint race later Saturday.
Lando Norris, fully recovered from food poisoning, was 10th for McLaren.
In his penultimate Grand Prix weekend, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was the first man out in dry and warm conditions after Friday’s dramatic late downpour, leading a group that included American Logan Sargeant, replacing Alex Albon at Williams in a bid to build up laps and add a point to his necessary superlicence for next season.
After pace-setting laps by both Ferraris, Perez took the initiative followed by Russell and then Ocon while Sargeant swiftly completed 28 laps to support his bid to replace departing Canadian Nicholas Latifi.
It remained mostly uneventful as the teams concentrated on evaluation of tyres ahead of the sprint race later Saturday and Sunday’s full Grand Prix.
Much local attention was focussed on adopted Brazilian Hamilton and the progress of Magnussen, who had claimed his and the Haas team’s maiden pole position on Friday.
With 20 minutes to go, he was eighth and one place behind team-mate Schumacher who had qualified 20th as the Haas drivers book-ended the grid. The German’s fate with the team will be decided next week, team boss Gunther Steiner had announced earlier.
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To the delight of the Brazilian fans, Enzo Fittipaldi, a grandson of two-time champion Emerson Fittipaldi, announced earlier via social media that he was joining the Red Bull driver academy. His brother Pietro is reserve driver with Haas.
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