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Pre-Season: It’s Charles Leclerc’s Day On Day 2

Written By Uche Dozie

Ferrari’s fine start to the pre-season testing continues after it was an overall victory for their number one driver, Charles Leclerc on day 2 at Barcelona on Thursday.

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Leclerc who had finished top of the morning sessions of day one before changing gear with teammate, Carlos Sainz, pushed for the top in a time of 1m 19.689s ahead of Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri.

The time was just over a tenth of a second off Lando Norris’ top time from the opening day.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo came third despite dominating the morning session. George Russell of Mercedes and Carlos Sainz of McLaren finished fourth and fifth respectively.


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However, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto didn’t want to read too much meaning to his team’s successful start in the pre-season testing.

“I think it’s very early days,” Binotto said during the lunchtime press conference in Barcelona. “It’s always great to have good consistency when running because it’s time to learn these new cars.

“When you’re doing a lot of laps, you are certainly collecting data. So far I’m pleased by the fact that yesterday we did many laps, and this morning too, which is important. Regarding the pace, it’s very early to judge. What I can see is that we are all very close, which was one of the objectives of the new regulations.”

Meanwhile…

The race had two red flags unlike the first day that ended on a clean slate.

Sergio Perez’s gearbox issue which made the Red Bull driver stop on late into the morning brought out the first red flag of the day, and after a lengthy stay in the garage did not emerge again until late in the day.

A damaged fuel pump saw Nikita Mazepin’s Haas stop midway through the afternoon, causing a 15-minute red-flag – but the Russian was back out an hour after his incident.

Sebastian Vettel finished sixth while Perez was not hindered by the morning incident to finish seventh. Lewis Hamilton finished sixteenth after a limited morning session where he completed 40 laps.

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