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Ferrari’s Leclerc outperforms FP2 in 2023 tire test

Leclerc was one of three drivers to run two of the 2022 Pirelli compounds. Valtteri Bottas When Daniel Ricardo – As part of the rookie practice runs mandated by the 2022 regulations, Robert Schwartzman drove the F1-75 to participate in FP1.

When the rest of the field completed the set run plan decided by Pirelli for next year’s two prototype compounds, the drivers had to run both types without knowing which was which during the run. was given to the team in a “blind” assignment. That trio officially set the fastest time of the session.

They were given 35 minutes to speed up for the first time on the track in Austin in 2022 before joining their colleagues on unmarked rubber.

It’s from the hard end of Pirelli’s 2023 range, and the soft compound will be ready for next weekend’s FP2 session at the Mexican Grand Prix after having to stop testing in the last wet event in Japan. being tried.

Bottas took the lead from the pits to start the 90-minute session, followed by Ricciardo. alfa romeo When mclaren each in FP1.

Bottas on the 2022 medium tyres, established the benchmark with a time of 1:40.655, while Ricciardo, also on yellow wall tyres, led with a time of 1:40.474.

Five minutes later, Leclerc beat them both in his first run with the 2022 soft, taking the lead with a time of 1:38.856.

he was temporarily kicked out by his teammates Carlos SainzLeading in FP1 and running the prototype from the start, Leclerc re-established the top time with a time of 1:37.614 to close out the run on soft shoes.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Photo credit: Stephen Tee / motorsport images

After pitting for medium tyres, Leclerc set the fastest FP2 time of 1:36.810 just before the 15-minute mark.

He pitted shortly after, and after a stint of nearly 10 minutes, Ferrari In the garage, he completed the time allowed on the 2022 tires and completed a fuel-rich run. His time was about five seconds slower than his personal best.

This replicates a typical FP2 session, but conditions were not fully comparable as this session started three hours after the 2pm race start time on Sunday.

When Leclerc was doing this, Bottas and Ricciardo were running a contra-run plan, moving from medium to soft tires for 2022.

Ricciardo moved ahead of Sainz, running 0.817 seconds down Leclerc’s second drift in the 23rd minute, followed a few seconds later by Bottas, who was just 0.029 seconds slower in the first soft flyer.

Five minutes later, at the third distance mark, Bottas put in another flying lap to pip Ricciardo and was second behind Leclerc, 0.715 seconds slower than Ferrari.

Sainz led the drivers using only the new prototype compound. Kevin Magnussen When Nicholas Latifi The pair didn’t even compete in FP1, but Haas and Williams We choose to stick to our tire-only execution plan for 2023.

This was at the direction of Pirelli and was compromised by two ‘performance’ tests with a 20kg fuel load and four runs of two long run stints with the car starting on 100kg fuel.

The fastest performance run time (5 laps total, requiring 3 push laps on either side of the out and in laps) was recorded in the first stint, with Sainz briefly fastest at 1:38.763. , then beaten by 1 minute and 38 seconds. 232 seconds.

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Alex Albon, Williams FW44

Photo credit: Zach Mauger / motorsport images

After Sainz Mick Schumacher, Land Norris When Max VerstappenWhen Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Guthrie When Sergio Perez Round off the top 10.

After completing two five-lap performance runs, drivers had to complete two eight-lap stints on higher fuel levels.

The time at this fuel level was about 4-5 seconds slower than the time set at the lower level.

Another part of the test involved the lower tire blanket temperatures that will be mandated for 2023. This is a drop from current levels of 70°C to 50°C, ahead of a planned ban on tire warmers scheduled for 2024.

This is likely the reason why we saw so many mistakes in FP2 on Friday, with several drivers making comical slides exiting corners on tires that have been tweaked for next year. , understood to be subtle design changes rather than major adjustments by Pirelli. .

These adjustments include ensuring that the 2023 tires do not have the low-speed understeer characteristics that drivers do not enjoy with their current variety.

Fernando Alonso I snapped wide out of Turn 1 (the uphill left hairpin at the start of the Austin lap) and ran onto the back straight at Turn 11.

Hamilton and Norris take a dramatic slide down the fast downhill left corner that forms the penultimate corner.

At one point, Sainz described running on prototype tires as “Tokyo Drift”.

The 17 drivers who ran only prototypes were limited to 26 laps after the four runs requested by Pirelli, Leclerc (37 laps), Bottas (37 laps) and Ricciardo (40 laps). made more laps.

They closed out the session as the first flying lap on Leclerc’s prototype was 0.1 seconds slower than Sainz’s personal best in fourth overall.

F1 United States Grand Prix – FP2 Results Ferrari’s Leclerc outperforms FP2 in 2023 tire test

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