Despite reporting issues with his headrest, two-time world champion Verstappen set a new benchmark during the soft tyre runs in FP2 to end up 0.386s clear of the Ferrari pair headed by Carlos Sainz.
Leclerc was third-fastest, 0.468s adrift of Verstappen, before the Monegasque caused a late red flag when he slammed into the wall at Turn 8, with the impact destroying the front-right of his car.
Sergio Perez narrowly avoided a crash with AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries on his way to fourth as he once again lagged behind Red Bull teammate Verstappen, this time by nearly half a second.
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Fernando Alonso was seventh for Aston Martin, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who was the fastest Mercedes driver in seventh but almost a second off the pace.
After leading a surprise Mercedes 1-2 in opening practice, George Russell finished down in 15th after he failed to get a clean lap in on the soft tyres.
Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon completed the rest of the top-10 order for Aston Martin, Alpine and Williams respectively.
Following Nico Hulkenberg’s FP1 crash, Kevin Magnussen nearly replicated his Haas teammate’s crash but somehow managed to avoid hitting the barriers after a spin.