Las Vegas GP 2023
NOVEMBER 17, 2023
Friday Report - Leclerc still quickest after more delays in FP2
By Peter Habicht
Following multiple postponements to repair the racing surface, an extended second practice session got underway at 2:30a after a lengthy delay with a shorted session the evening before. The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and Alpine of Esteban Ocon were rebuilt with new chassis as the extensive damage to their cars from a loose cover striking the underside forced the teams to replace them. Just prior to practice resuming, it was announced that the FiA would be penalizing Sainz 10 grid places after the damage to his car forced the team to use a third energy store outside an allocated two per season.
For the very early morning session start, the backdrop around the circuit resembled the 2020 season during the pandemic as the circuit staffing around the spectator areas went off duty, clearing fans out of the circuit while leaving teams and race officials to run an extended 90 minute session in front of entirely empty grandstands.
Charles Leclerc (1:35.265s) and Carlos Sainz were fastest around the 6.201 km (3.853 mi) circuit for Ferrari, followed by the Aston of Fernando Alonso and the Red Bull of Sergio Perez. Afla Romeo’s Valterri Bottas was ahead of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull to round out the top six.
Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg was next quickest ahead of Aston’s Lance Stroll and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Alex Albon’s Williams was followed by the Mclaren of Lando Norris and the other Mercedes of George Russell.
Kevin Magnussen’s Haas was 13th fastest followed by the McLaren of Oscar Piastri and the Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was 17th in the order, fowled by Alfa’s Guanyu Zhou, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams’ Logan Sargeant.
Free practice three starts at 8:30p tonight.