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Leclerc leads second practice at Australian GP; Sainz impresses post-surgery

Posted : 22 March 2024

In the second practice session at the Australian Grand Prix, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc showcased his speed by securing the top spot, outpacing reigning world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull. Leclerc clocked an impressive lap of one minute 17.277 seconds around the Albert Park circuit, putting him 0.381 seconds ahead of Verstappen, who faced challenges due to floor damage incurred during the first practice session.


Verstappen's setback in the first practice, caused by damage to the floor of his car, meant that his team had to work on resolving the issue, delaying his participation in the second session. Despite initial struggles on medium tires as others switched to softs, Verstappen eventually found his rhythm, narrowly missing out on topping the timesheets. As the winner of the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Verstappen aims to maintain his momentum and overcome off-track distractions, eyeing a record-equalling 10th consecutive victory.


Meanwhile, Ferrari's Carlos Sainz delivered a remarkable performance by finishing third in the second practice, merely two weeks after undergoing appendicitis-related surgery. Sainz's resilience and strong showing dispelled concerns about his physical condition, showcasing his determination to compete at the highest level.


Behind Sainz, Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin secured fourth and fifth places respectively, while Mercedes' George Russell followed closely in sixth position. However, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton encountered difficulties, finishing in 18th place and expressing concerns over his car's performance during the session.


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