Imola, Italy – Mercedes dominated the first of two free training sessions at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Emilia-Romagna on Friday as Red Bull faced their fair share of trouble.
Valtteri Bottas finished first in both sessions of the freestyle training, after beating Lewis Hamilton by 10 and 41 hundredths of a second, respectively.
“The weekend is a good start, and I’m very happy with the car getting ready,” Bottas said. The car behaves better, although we face the same problems we face in Bahrain with our tires, to a lesser extent. “
“It’s not perfect yet, but it’s only the second of 23 races scheduled for this season, so we’ve still got a lot of time … we don’t think we have the fastest car on the grid, and we’ll have to work on that for Saturday.”
Red Bull was the test favorite in Italy, but Mercedes snatched the top two places in both sessions. The Austrian team concluded each session with one driver on the track.
Hamilton noted that “the team worked hard to understand what happened during the last race (in Bahrain), because we were lacking in strength and we had to find solutions in terms of settings, but this time the track worked in our favor.”
“The pace is good, but I expect Red Bull to raise their game significantly because they ran into some trouble today. It would be interesting to see their speed tomorrow,” the Briton added.
Pierre Gasly, who pressed briefly between the two Mercedes, finished third, 78th of a second behind Finn.
This is a home race for his team, Alpha Tauri, because their plant in Faenza is only 15 km from the circuit.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who may be Hamilton’s main opponent this season, struggled with his car early in the second cycle. So he had to cut it off after just 10 minutes.
“The steering column gives way. We’re trying to understand why,” Red Bull manager Christian Horner summed up. We’ll be analyzing all the other parts of the car. The feelings are intense here, so we’ll try to find out what happened. “
Verstappen recorded the third fastest time in the morning, 0.058 seconds behind Bottas.
Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was unable to complete his first training session after an accident with Esteban Ocon’s team in the Alps in Villeneuve, Czech Republic.
Perez’s left rear tire went wild and Okun sustained collateral damage, badly damaging his car. The teams of pilots had to work quickly to prepare them for the second training session of the day.
“It’s a good start, despite the Sergio accident. Luckily for him and me, we didn’t waste much time on the right track. The mechanics did a really good job remaking the car quickly, so give them credit. We’ll have to find the right settings for today.” Tomorrow (Saturday). “
Outing leg 10e
Red flags were waved again shortly after the end of the session, when Nikita Mazepin lost control of Haas and fell into the barricades on the way out of the pit pass.
Other incidents occurred during the afternoon, and were reduced to four minutes. Charles Leclerc noticeably pushed his Ferrari against the security fence.
Nevertheless, Monaco and teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. completed the top five in the second round. Less than a second separated the first nine pilots.
Quebec Lance Stroll, driving an Aston Martin, finished 10th in the second session, 1.186 seconds behind Bottas. Teammate Sebastian Vettel was satisfied with the fifteenth time.
It is a different track (from Bahrain), but it is beautiful. It was cooler and there was less wind on the track. Plus, there is a lot of grip and we can attack the shakers. It’s not easy for the car, less mistake costs you dearly, but it is very fun. Love this trail, “sum up the hike, eight in the morning.
For his part, Torontonian Nicholas Latifi (Williams) took 12th place.
A third free training session will be offered on Saturday morning, followed by an afternoon qualifying session.
The Grand Prix for Emilia-Romagna is the second round of the Formula 1 championship this season. Hamilton, world champion, won the first race in Bahrain last month.
Second free trial session:
Valtteri Bottas (VIN / Mercedes) 1: 15,551 (25 laps)
Lewis Hamilton (UK / Mercedes) 1: 15.561 – 26 laps
Pierre Gasly (France / AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 15.629 (30)
Carlos Sainz Junior (Spain / Ferrari) 1: 15.834 – 30 laps
Charles Leclerc (MON / Ferrari) 1: 16.371 (28)
Sergio Perez (MEX / Red Bull-Honda) 1: 16.411 – 25 laps
Yuki Tsutaka (Japan / AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 16.419 (26)
Lando Norris (GBM / McLaren) 1: 16.485 (23)
Antonio Giovinazzi (ETA / Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1: 16.513 (25)
Lance Stroll (Canada / Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 16.737 (25)
Esteban Ocon (France / Alpine Renault) 1: 16.817 – 27 laps
Nicholas Latifi (Canada / Williams-Mercedes) 1: 16.823 – 29 laps
Fernando Alonso (Spain / Albin Reno) 1: 16.835 – 27 laps
Max Verstappen (Netherlands / Red Bull-Honda) 1: 16.999 (5)
Sebastian Vettel (Germany / Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 17,092 (27)
George Russell (GBR / Williams-Mercedes) 1: 17.179 (5)
Kimi Raikkonen (Vin / Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1: 17273 (27)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUSTRALIA / McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 17.281 (24 laps)
Mick Schumacher (Germany / Haas-Ferrari) 1: 17.350 (2)
Nikita Mazpin (Russia / Hass-Ferrari) 1: 17.857 – 16 laps
First free trial session
Valtteri Bottas (VIN / Mercedes) 1: 16,564 (23 laps)
Lewis Hamilton (UK / Mercedes) 1: 16.605 – 25 laps
Max Verstappen (Netherlands / Red Bull-Honda) 1: 16.622 (21 laps)
Charles Leclerc (MON / Ferrari) 1: 16.796 (13)
Pierre Gasly (FRA / AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 16.888 (21)
Carlos Sainz Junior (Spain / Ferrari) 1: 16.888 – 26 laps
Fernando Alonso (Spain / Albin-Reno) 1: 17.457 (23)
Lance Stroll (Canada / Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 17.489 (19)
Nicholas Latifi (Canada / Williams-Mercedes) 1: 17.739 – 24 laps
Daniel Ricciardo (AUSTRALIA / McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 17.769 (23)
George Russell (GBR / Williams) 1: 17.866 – 25
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN / Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1: 17.883 (16)
Lando Norris (GBR / McLaren) 1: 17.935 (16 laps)
Sebastian Vettel (Germany / Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 17984 (23)
Antonio Giovinazzi (ETA / Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1: 18.058 (24)
Sergio Perez (MEX / Red Bull-Honda) 1: 18.228 – 15 laps
Esteban Ocon (France / Alpine Renault) 1: 18.360 (20)
Nikita Mazpin (Russia / Hass-Ferrari) 1: 18.823 – 22 laps
Mick Schumacher (Germany / Haas-Ferrari) 1: 19.480 – 18 laps
Yuki Tsutaka (Japan / AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 19.781 (11)