F1 2020: Italian Grand Prix – Friday

Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in Friday Practice at Monza. (Image credit: LAT Images)

This weekend sees Formula One head to Monza, Italy, as Mercedes dominated Friday Practice whilst Alpha Tauri, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari endured contrasting fortunes on the opening day of their home race weekend.

With party Qualifying modes banned for the first time, Friday Practice was a chance for teams to get to grips with running in only one engine mode as some struggled more than others as we bring a roundup of both practice sessions.

 

FP1

A slow start to the morning session saw several drivers with exception of Alex Albon, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton head out for installation laps before returning to the pits, with nobody bothering to venture out and set lap times until the 18th minute when Albon headed out but his first timed lap was deleted for exceeding track limits at Parabolica.

Soon afterwards, everyone was out setting lap times with Albon leading from Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll on the half hour mark, with Hamilton soon setting a fastest lap of 1m 21.676 from Bottas and the Racing Point duo of Stroll and Sergio Perez.

Lando Norris meanwhile went ninth quickest but had his lap time deleted for exceeding track limits at Parabolica just before everyone retreated to the pits for the traditional mid session lull.

Mercedes then dominated the second half of the session as Bottas eventually topped the session with a 1m 20.703 which was 0.245 seconds quicker than Hamilton’s effort with both drivers doing an early soft qualifying simulation.

Albon was third fastest but Verstappen found himself fifth and in an Alpha Tauri sandwich as Daniil Kvyat finished fourth quickest and 0.112s quicker than Pierre Gasly who was sixth, despite suffering a late spin through Ascari.

Further down the order, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel endured a torrid session in 19th place and finished 0.162s slower than Williams’ Junior Driver, Roy Nissany.

 

FP2

A quiet start to the afternoon session saw Gasly set the initial pace with a 1m 21.578 on mediums until Hamilton came out and posted a 1m 21.085 on the same compound which was 0.377s quicker than Bottas who had opted to do his early running on the hard tyre, as Verstappen ended the initial runs third quickest ahead of Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

Hamilton soon proceeded to top the qualifying simulation with a session topping time of 1m 20.192 which was 0.262s quicker than Bottas’ effort as Gasly leapfrogged Verstappen into third with Carlos Sainz initially rounding out the top five.

Sainz’s McLaren teammate, Lando Norris however struggled with power unit related issues for much of the opening hour and spent the last 30 minutes on a blended race and qualifying simulation programme, which saw him leap up to third with six minutes left.

Daniel Ricciardo had done what would of been the third fastest time on his soft effort but a small mistake at Parabolica saw the Aussie’s lap time deleted to leave him in 15th position, although Vettel and Alex Albon also saw lap times deleted for similar infringements.

Race simulations went fairly well with exception for both Ferrari drivers who struggled with the car as Vettel spun on exit of the first Lesmo curve whilst Charles Leclerc ran wide at that same corner.

 

Practice Results

FP1

Position Driver Team Time
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 20.703
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.245
3 Alexander Albon Red Bull + 0.797
4 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 0.852
5 Verstappen Red Bull + 0.938
6 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 0.964
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 1.044
8 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.044
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 1.086
10 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.118
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.201
12 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.281
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 1.428
14 Romain Grosjean Haas + 1.706
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.719
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.849
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.916
18 Roy Nissany Williams + 2.123
19 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 2.285
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.417

 

FP2

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m 20.192
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.262
3 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.897
4 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 0.929
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 1.036
6 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.121
7 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 1.184
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 1.197
9 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.311
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 1.402
11 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.505
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.541
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.594
14 Alexander Albon Red Bull + 1.691
15 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 1.888
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.896
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.955
18 Romain Grosjean Haas + 2.062
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.633
20 George Russell Williams + 2.735

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