Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were the best part of a second off the pace in the first session, with the latter struggling with his setup, but that ‘sandbagging’ has often been the case for the Maranello team in practice this season.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a blistering pace in second practice at the French Grand Prix.
The world champion was a massive 0.704 seconds quicker than his closest rival, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was only fifth fastest, 1.150secs adrift of Hamilton. But beware reading much into that sluggish performance on the timesheet: Ferrari have repeatedly kept themselves to the themselves on Friday all the way though the season so far.
The session included a 10-minute red flag period, caused when Sergio Perez’s Force India lost a wheel, which potentially distorted the picture.
The delay meant drivers made their qualifying simulation runs at different times, when the track conditions may have been different.
Who has the fastest race pace?
Sebastian Vettel, for example, set his time on the fastest ultra-soft tyres before the session was stopped, and Hamilton after.