F1 EMILIA ROMAGNA GP FP1 – Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes one-two in the first Formula 1 practice session of the weekend at Imola, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third. The majority of the action came in the final 10 minutes of the session, when it was restarted after a stoppage when Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon appeared to get caught up with each other.
Perez ended up spinning at the Villeneuve S with damage to his left rear, while Ocon’s car appeared to have front-right damage. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner confirmed Perez had told him there had been contact between the two cars.
Full results from the opening practice session at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Round 2 of the 2021 Formula 1 world championship.
2021 F1 EMILIA ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE RESULTS (1)
When the rest of the cars returned to the track, several drivers had brief spells at the top of the order.
Carlos Sainz went fastest just before the red flag and was the first to improve after the restart, but his Ferrari was shuffled down to sixth by the end.
Late laps for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas secured a Mercedes one-two. Verstappen was fastest before that, and set two personal best sectors on his final lap, but he backed out in the final sector.
That was likely down to yellow flags that came out in the closing moments, when the Haas of rookie Nikita Mazepin dropped a wheel into the gravel exiting the final corner, spinning him into a gentle impact with the barriers.
It was Mazepin’s second off of the session at that corner, having spun there early on in a session where several drivers struggled to find grip.
The late improvements at the top of the times shuffled Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri back to fifth, after he briefly ran second to Verstappen before the Mercedes drivers and Leclerc improved their times.
Leclerc was the only driver who hadn’t set a time before the red flag came out. He’d completed a handful of installation laps early in the session, then spent a long spell in the garage.
Behind the leading six, Fernando Alonso ended the session seventh, having become the first driver to take a new exhaust system this season. That component has been added to the list of engine parts that can only be used in limited numbers for 2021.
AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda ended the session in last place with just 11 laps to his name, his AT02 having suffered what team boss Franz Tost described as an electrical issue.
F1 EMILIA ROMAGNA GP FP1 F1 EMILIA ROMAGNA GP FP1