Verstappen tops Miami GP FP2 as Leclerc crashes late in session

The Dutchman laid down an ominous marker in FP2 at the Miami GP

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Max Verstappen beat the Ferraris to top spot in the second practice session at the Miami Grand Prix, as Charles Leclerc brought out the red flag with a late crash.

The Dutchman had some minor issues with his headrest early in the session, but returned to the track to post a 1:27.930 and eclipse Carlos Sainz in second by nearly four tenths.

Leclerc finished third, a further tenth back, but came unstuck on the Miami International Autodrome circuit with 10 minutes left on the clock. The Monegasque had a snap of oversteer before locking up and hitting the barrier at Turn 8.

Sergio Perez continued to struggle and could only manage fourth, nearly half a second of the pace set by his teammate and championship rival.

Lando Norris took an encouraging sixth for McLaren, although Oscar Piastri finished well down in 16th.

After setting the pace in FP1, Mercedes struggled, with Lewis Hamilton seventh and George Russell 15th. The pair both lost the rear at various points throughout the session, which will be a concern ahead of what is likely to be a dry qualifying.

Lance Stroll was the lead Aston Martin in eighth, with Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon rounding out the top 10.

Verstappen lays down marker

After finishing fourth in FP1, the championship leader returned to the top of the timesheets in FP2 in dominant fashion.

The Dutchman finished nearly four tenths clear out front and looked comfortable in the RB19 on the new tarmac, while most around him struggled to keep their cars between the white lines consistently.

Verstappen will undoubtedly start Sunday’s GP as the favourite and you’d be brave to bet against him making it back-to-back Miami wins.

The rain that is forecast might be the only thing that can stop him.

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