After the thrills of Monza, Formula One remain in Italy as they headed to Mugello for the first-ever Tuscan Grand Prix, with drivers hitting the track for Friday Practice.
Lewis Hamilton enters this weekend with a 47 point lead over Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas but it was the latter who dominated throughout Friday Practice whilst Ferrari put in a promising performance on their home circuit ahead of their 1000th Grand Prix, sporting a new one-off colour scheme reminiscent of the first-ever Ferrari – 125 S which was built in 1947.
Here is a full roundup of Friday Practice covering FP1 and FP2.
Alex Albon was the first driver to hit Mugello circuit when the light went green ahead of Max Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen, with several drivers soon following suit including Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in an unusual move by Mercedes who often wait for the track to rubber in.
Bottas however would lead the way early on with a 1m 20.540 until Monza race winner, Pierre Gasly went top with a 1m 19.859 in the 22nd minute, which was soon bettered just five minutes later by Max Verstappen with a 1m 19.439.
Williams meanwhile were competitive in the early stages with Russell posting the then sixth best time on the half hour mark, shortly before Charles Leclerc went 0.029 seconds slower than Verstappen, although Verstappen immediately produced a 1m 19.017 to go quicker and ended the opening half sat at the top from Lewis Hamilton, Leclerc, Bottas and Gasly as teams returned a set of tyres.
Everyone soon set about getting a banker soft tyre flier in ahead of early race simulations with Bottas eventually the only driver in the top five to improve position, finishing top with a 1m 17.879 which was 0.048s quicker than Verstappen with Leclerc, Hamilton and Gasly rounding out the top five ahead of Esteban Ocon and Daniil Kvyat.
Sebastian Vettel meanwhile was 1.388s slower than Bottas’ best lap as he continues his final season at Ferrari, having yesterday confirmed his move to Aston Martin for 2021.
Racing Point focused on race simulations throughout this session as they set their fastest times on the hard tyres in 18th and 19th position with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez respectively, although Stroll did have to wait for a brake issue to be fixed before heading out.
Finally, Nicholas Latifi was the only spinner of the morning session after losing his Williams’ rear on entry to Poggio Secco in the closing minutes but was able to continue on his way unharmed.
A slow start to the afternoon session saw Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean be the first pair out after a four minute lull once the light went green, with Lando Norris setting the early pace as Leclerc suffered a spin at Arrabbiata after losing the rear of his Ferrari.
Bottas ultimately would dominate this session after setting a 1m 18.019 on his first effort before quickly improving to a 1m 17.997 which saw him as the fastest driver from Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris and Sergio Perez once everyone completed their opening runs.
In an unusually early move, several drivers opted to run their race simulations just 35 minutes into the session with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo producing a stunning 1m 18.039 to go second just before Norris caused a red flag, dipping a wheel on the gravel when exiting Borgo San Lorenzo which sent him spinning into the wall and out of the remainder of this session.
Once the session resumed after a ten minute delay, Bottas set a session topping time of 1m 16.989 which proved 0.207s quicker than Hamilton’s best effort with Verstappen sat just 0.039s behind the Brit in third, with Alex Albon, Ricciardo, Ocon, Perez, Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen and Leclerc rounding out the top ten.
Grosjean missed race simulations after Haas found an electronic issue within his car consequently curtailing his afternoon early, although he didn’t miss much after the race simulations were interrupted by a seven minute red flag.
With 18 minutes left, Perez was leaving the pits as Raikkonen came down the hill towards San Donato and swept across the Mexican, consequently damaging Perez’s front wing and sending Raikkonen spinning into the gravel although both drivers were able to continue round to the pits as debris was left across the track to cause the brief stoppage.
Perez was post session handed a one place grid penalty for the collision as the Mexican describing the incident as “… very tough to see another car when you’re coming out of the pit lane and the angle to re-join the track is difficult too.”
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1m 17.879|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.048|
|3||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.307|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.530|
|5||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||+ 0.797|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 0.926|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||+ 0.960|
|8||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 1.102|
|9||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 1.189|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 1.261|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.340|
|12||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 1.345|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.388|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.443|
|15||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 1.578|
|16||George Russell||Williams||+ 1.599|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 1.672|
|18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 1.957|
|19||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 1.961|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 2.155|
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1m 16.989|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.207|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.246|
|4||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 0.982|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 1.050|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 1.126|
|7||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 1.209|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||+ 1.255|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.396|
|10||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 1.411|
|11||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 1.473|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.509|
|13||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 1.662|
|14||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 1.669|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||+ 1.747|
|16||George Russell||Williams||+ 1.854|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.955|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 1.994|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 2.124|
|20||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 2.268|