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Verstappen sets pace in FP2 as Hamilton struggles in ninth

Lap times plummeted in the more representative conditions in FP2 as darkness fell over the Bahrain International Circuit, with Verstappen coming out on top of the pack with a new benchmark time on Pirelli’s softest available tyres. 

Verstappen produced a 1m31.936s during the qualifying simulation runs to pip Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to the fastest time by just 0.087s, while Carlos Sainz finished nearly half a second further back in third in the second Ferrari. 



George Russell was the highest-placed Mercedes in fourth but wound up 0.593s off Verstappen’s session-leading time on the same compound. 

It was a difficult session for teammate Lewis Hamilton, who could only set the ninth best time and was over a second slower than Verstappen.

The seven-time world champion complained about high-frequency bouncing as Mercedes’ porpoising issue showed no sign of stopping, while Hamilton encountered an issue with his front brakes and was seen locking up into Turn 1 on a couple of occasions. 

Hamilton was also losing time down the main straight due to a malfunctioning DRS. 

Fernando Alonso sat fifth for Alpine, almost a full second off the pace, ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who popped his Alfa Romeo into an encouraging sixth as he returned to action after engine trouble hampered his morning session. 

Sergio Perez finished a second down on his Red Bull teammate in seventh. 

Haas enjoyed a strong second practice as Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen sandwiched Hamilton in ninth and 10th respectively, with both cars just over a second adrift. 

McLaren missed out on a spot in the top-10 by less than a tenth as Lando Norris finished 11th, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo only completed 12 laps on his way to a lonely 18th, ahead of only the Williams duo. 

The teams have one final practice session to iron out any issues and get their cars prepared for qualifying. FP3 gets underway at 3pm local time (12pm GMT) on Saturday. 

Full results from second practice for the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. 

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