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Friday, June 14, 2024

George Russell Shines in Mercedes Resurgence in Second Practice at Suzuka

Extended practice session sees improved performance from Mercedes

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

JAPAN: Mercedes driver George Russell excelled in the wet conditions greeted the teams again at Suzuka as a steady drizzle continued into the second practise session, which, in a carbon copy of the first practice, saw the drivers staying in the pits at the beginning of an extended practise session which was originally scheduled to conduct the tyre tests of next year’s dry weather compounds.

After the drivers ventured out onto the track, the first 30 minutes of the 90-minute practice session saw Hamilton set the benchmark time of 1 m 49.489 s.

With an hour remaining on the clock, Hamilton and Russell were the first drivers to try the intermediates, and the British duo immediately started trading fastest laps as the track conditions began to improve.

In the end, it was Russell who set the fastest lap of 1 minute 41.936s, which was 0.235s faster than Hamilton’s fastest lap of 1 minute 42.170s.

Championship leader Max Verstappen was 0.851s behind Russell to come home in 3rd, followed by team-mate Sergio Perez in 4th.

Kevin Magnussen continued his good run of form to finish 5th. His team-mate Mick Schumacher was unable to take part in the session due to damage to his car, which required a chassis change after crashing into the barrier at the end of FP1.

Carlos Sainz was the quicker of the Ferrari duo, finishing sixth ahead of compatriot Fernando Alonso, who was unable to replicate his FP1 form. Alfa Romeo had a decent session as Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu brought home their cars in 8th and 10th place, respectively, sandwiching the Alpine of Esteban Ocon in 9th.

Charles Leclerc wound up outside of the top 10 in 11th after he complained of issues with his brakes, which saw him spend a considerable amount of time in the garage. The Williams duo of Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon displayed better performances as they set times good enough for 12th and 13th respectively.

Home favourite Yuki Tsunoda was down in 14th, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who is a four-time Japanese Grand Prix winner. The McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were 16th and 17th, respectively, ahead of Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly, winding up the time sheets.

A few drivers, including Leclerc, Perez, and Tsunoda, found it difficult to cope with the challenging conditions as they had their moments with the gravel.

Also Read: Alonso’s Magic in Soaking Wet Practice Session in the Japanese Grand Prix

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