Esteban Ocon was fastest in the second hour of practice. Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen was satisfied with the fifth fastest lap. Teammate Sergio Pérez was second fastest.
Before the sprint race, the result of which will determine the starting grid for the GP in Brazil, the GP drivers were allowed to go out on track for another training session. The chance of rain was 20 percent, the outside temperature was 24 degrees Celsius, the track temperature was 46 degrees when the pit light turned green.
Sebastian Vettel was the first to appear on the track, but he immediately found company. The German, who is competing for the last GP weekend before his farewell to Formula 1, did without the scheduled time and thus Guanyu Zhou and Mick Schumacher were the first to have a lap time next to their names.
The Chinese were faster than the German, who had to settle for last place the day before. Zhou’s joy was short-lived as his Alfa Romeo teammate knocked him out of the lead. The Finns didn’t stay in first place for long either, because most drivers had their first time recorded and after ten minutes it was George Russell who was ahead with 1:14.916 minutes.
At that stage, seven drivers had yet to set a time, including Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. AlphaTauri duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda hadn’t even come out when Nicholas Latifi caused the first yellow flags for riding on the green. The Canadian was able to continue, so the caution did not last long.
After the first quarter of an hour, Russell was still leading the timesheets, behind him Sergio Pérez, Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, Bottas and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 ahead of Max Verstappen, Lando. Norris, Zhou, Daniel Ricciardo, Tsunoda, Logan Sargeant, Shoemaker, Lance Stroll, Vettel and Latifi.
Sargeant was in Alex Albon’s car to complete the 100km race to get closer to the perfect license required to compete in the World Championship. The American had already been cleared to take part in the free session in Mexico, but missed the 100km target by just four kilometres.
Even after 20 minutes the lead had not changed, Russell, who had set the fastest lap on the soft tyres, was still in the lead ahead of Pérez, who had set the second fastest time on the hard tyres. Like the Mexican, Hamilton was on hard tyres, slipping to fourth behind Gasly, who had set the third fastest time on soft tyres.
Just before the break Ocon took the lead with a 1:14.604, just as Russell was on the soft tyres. The Frenchman from the Alpine team was not the only one to improve so the top 10 at the break was Ocon ahead of Russell, Hamilton, Pérez, Gasly, Magnussen, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Sainz and Bottas. Behind them were Zhou, Sargeant, Norris, Alonso, Verstappen, Stroll, Vettel, Tsunoda, Schumacher and Latifi.
Most of the drivers took the opportunity to cool down the long runs, but there was some movement on the clock monitor, with Pérez improving to second and Verstappen turning the fourth fastest lap. Schumacher was also able to improve and with 20 minutes left in the session he was seventh ahead of his colleague Magnussen.
The order did not change in the last few minutes, the importance of the time list was minimal. One finding was that the soft tires should hold the race distance of 24 laps, even in the hottest temperatures.
Second training session, Sao Paulo
01. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, 1:14.604 min
02. Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, 1:14.788
03. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, 1:14.916
04. Fernando Alonso (E), Alpine, 1:15.049
05. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:15.098
06. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:15.137
07. Pierre Gasly (F), AlphaTauri, 1:15.636
08. Mick Schumacher (D), Haas, 1:15.684
09. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, 1:15.815
10. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:15.851
11. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:15.856
12. Yuki Tsunoda (J), AlphaTauri, 1:15,865
13. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:15.868
14. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), McLaren, 1:15.994
15. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Alfa Romeo, 1:16.047
16. Nicholas Latifi (CDN), Williams, 1:16.181
17. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, 1:16.263
18. Sebastian Vettel (D), Aston Martin, 1:16.400
19. Guanyu Zhou (RC), Alfa Romeo, 1:16.468
20. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, 1:16.480