Miami GP: Russell fastest as Verstappen & Sainz hit trouble in Practice 2

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George Russell gave Mercedes reason for optimism by setting the fastest time in a disrupted Practice 2 at the Miami Grand Prix.

A combination of reduced porpoising due to low downforce and upgrades appears to be working as the Briton, who was second in FP1, went one better in the late afternoon session at Hard Rock Stadium.

It was far from a smooth hour of running though as two red flags and problems for Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz made making an accurate pecking order tricky.

The first stoppage was caused by another crash for the Spanish Ferrari driver, this time approaching the fiddly chicane at Turns 14 and 15.

Then, an issue for Nicholas Latifi saw him stop on track for Williams, requiring the marshals to clear it off the circuit around Turn 10.

Those disruptions were a small blessing for Verstappen who only managed one very difficult lap in the session.

The Dutchman was already delayed after Red Bull opted to change the gearbox on his car as a precaution after Practice 1.

But then once he went out, a suspected hydraulics problem left him unable to steer and saw his right-rear brake catch fire as he returned to the garage.

Also absent from FP2 was Valtteri Bottas as Alfa Romeo continued to repair his car following his crash at Turn 7 earlier in the day.

On the track, Russell's 1m29.938s on the soft tyre was a tenth faster than Charles Leclerc in second for Ferrari.

Sergio Perez proved Red Bull is still firmly in the battle in third, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fourth, backing up Mercedes' apparent improvement.

'Best of the rest' went to Fernando Alonso in fifth for Alpine, with Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly not far behind in sixth and seventh respectively.

Zhou Guanyu was a strong eighth in the other Alfa as Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10.

Full results from Practice 2 can be seen below: