US GP: Leclerc leads as teams go tyre testing in Practice 2

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Charles Leclerc was fastest in an unusual Practice 2 dominated by 2023 tyre testing at the US Grand Prix.

Those drivers who did not participate in FP1 due to young driver outings were given 30 minutes of running of this year's Pirelli rubber.

And Leclerc used that time to post a 1m36.810s, fractionally faster than Carlos Sainz's best time on the same soft tyres in the earlier session.

Valtteri Bottas was seven-tenths back in second, with Daniel Ricciardo the only other driver to post a lap on 2022-spec tyres in third.

As for the rest, they completed a three-lap performance run with 20kg of fuel and an eight-lap race simulation with 100kg of fuel on two sets of tyres under development for next year.

The compounds of the 2023-spec rubber were unknown and no setup changes were permitted to the cars during the session.

A notable difference from this year was a reduction in the tyre temperatures in the blankets from 70C in 2022 to just 50C in 2023.

This gradual reduction comes as F1 hopes to eliminate tyre blankets altogether in 2024.

As a result, drivers were seen struggling for grip on the initial laps out of the pits but soon found the performance as temperatures built up.

With such strict parameters, the results were largely meaningless for the Grand Prix weekend though can be seen below...

 

         

 

 

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