June 3, 2023

Esteban Ocon of Alpine F1 finished first in the last practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, beating Sergio Pérez of Red Bull by roughly two tenths of a second.

George Russell came in third.

The second hour of practice was a relatively peaceful affair, with longer runs and preparation for the race taking up the most of the time. Since qualifying had already taken place the day before, all attention was focused on the Sprint that would take place on Saturday afternoon.

During the first part of the practice session, Russell was in the lead for the majority of the time. He drove a Mercedes and had a time of 1:15.115 while on soft tires. After that, he improved his own standard by two tenths of a second, which put him a half second ahead of Pérez, who was using hard compound Pirelli tyres. However, because lap time was not given much importance, the positions were not particularly meaningful. As a result, World Champion Max Verstappen spent the majority of the opening phase of the race in twelve place.

After that, Ocon changed to a pair of soft tires, and he finished the race with a lap time of 1:14.604, which was faster than Russell’s. On the softs, Hamilton passed his colleague by two tenths of a second, which allowed him to move up to third place.

Pérez and Verstappen switched to scrubbed soft tires with twenty minutes still to go, and Pérez moved up to second place while Verstappen moved up to fourth to divide the Mercedes drivers. Fernando Alonso of Alpine came out of nowhere and edged ahead of Max Verstappen with a lap time of 1:15.409.

That put an end to the opportunities for improvement, and with Verstappen finishing in fifth place, Hamilton moved up to sixth place. Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri finished seventh, ahead of the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher in eighth place and Kevin Magnussen, who earned the first pole position of his career on Friday. Lando Norris of McLaren finished in tenth place, one spot ahead of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, while Charles Leclerc, Sainz’s teammate at Ferrari, finished thirteenth.

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