Friday’s final hour on track at the Circuit Paul Ricard kicked off at 4:00 pm and followed a stellar FP1 where Charles Leclerc ended the session on top.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both returned to their cars after Nick de Vries took over the Mercedes and Robert Kubica drove the Alfa Romeo for the first stint of the weekend.
In the first ten minutes of this session, it was the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon setting the early pace at top of the timesheet, with Alonso less than a tenth faster than his team-mate after a lap in 1:35.531.
Not for long though as Kevin Magnussen and George Russell both had a short-lived moment with the fastest time as things unfolded. Both were ultimately too slow to keep up with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc who went 0.6s faster than the entire field.
Just minutes later, to no surprise, Verstappen went fastest by one-hundredth of a second, after losing some time in the final sector. He was then knocked off the top spot by Carlos Sainz who went an impressive 0.8s faster than Verstappen with a 1:33.322.
Bearing in mind the Spaniard was on soft tyres, while the Dutchman and Leclerc set their best laps on mediums.
Charles Leclerc followed suit and put on the soft tyres which helped him improve on his teammate Carlos Sainz’s fastest lap by almost 0.2s – leaving us with a Ferrari one-two with 33 minutes to go.
Meanwhile, Turn 11 was proving to be quite the menace as George Russell had issues running wide off the kerb after Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen met similar issues.
The Red Bull driver joined the Ferrari duo on soft tyres and was in third, half a second behind Sainz. Lewis Hamilton then put in his first proper lap on soft tyres which saw him go fourth – nearly a full second back from Sainz in first after beating his Monegasque teammate out once again.
Magnussen and Verstappen were both complaining of issues with understeer and both headed to the pits for some changes.
For the final ten minutes, teams reportedly switched to higher fuel loads for longer runs meaning Ferrari finished out the day having topped both FP1 and FP2 timesheets.
FP3 will kick off at 12:00 pm irish time on Saturday ahead of Qualifying at 3:00 pm.