French GP: Carlos Sainz leads Charles LecLerc in Ferrari One-Two in practice | Formula 1 News

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Carlos Sainz led Charles Leclerc at the top of the times on Friday, while Ferrari dominated second practice for the French Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull’s world championship leader Max Verstappen. The Ferrari pair exchanged fastest laps in a hard-fought session in bright sunlight, with Sainz easing the prospect of a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race after taking new powertrain components.

The Spaniard, who took his first win at the British Grand Prix earlier this month, clocked a best lap in one minute and 32.527 seconds to beat his Monegasque teammate by 0.101 seconds.

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Verstappen was a competitive third ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in the two freshly updated Mercedes and Lando Norris who was sixth ahead of McLaren.

Kevin Magnussen finished seventh ahead of Haas, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Daniel Ricciardo in McLaren’s second and Sergio Perez in Red Bull’s second.

The session was uninterrupted and mostly calm as the teams adjusted to the heat – the track temperature was 50 degrees and the air 34 degrees – in front of a large holiday crowd.

The circuit is sold out for both Saturday and Sunday, according to organizers at the Paul Ricard circuit, where the two Alpine drivers set the first early pace with Fernando Alonso leading Esteban Ocon before Magnussen and then Russell took over until Leclerc arrived.

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The revived Leclerc, who won the final race in Austria, was fastest in the opening session and quickly picked up where he left off in the earlier action.

As expected it was an exciting battle and four minutes later Verstappen moved 0.010 seconds ahead, only for Sainz, who faced a grid penalty on Sunday, to sweep 0.850 at the top in 1:33.322.

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The heat seemed to have a sleep-inducing effect on everyone for a brief period before Leclerc returned to beat his Ferrari teammate’s time by 0.186, after which the Spaniard reacted and jumped six tenths clear.

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It was clear Ferrari had found a good spot in their car set-up but Verstappen was close to them on soft tyres, the Dutchman briefly moved up to second before Leclerc replaced him.

(This story was not edited by The Switzerland Times staff and was generated automatically Platforms.)

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