After a largely disrupted morning session, the second practice session of the day at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari was headed by Valtteri Bottas once again for Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.
Although a number of technical and broadcasting issues caused chaos in the incident-ridden first session of the day, the problems were rectified as teams and drivers were able to communicate freely once again. The weather had also changed slightly from the morning, as the track temperature witnessed a small yet noticeable increase.
Max Verstappen suffered car issues just a short while into the hour-long session, stopping at the side of the track as his rather unhealthy-sounding RB16B ground to a halt following a suspected driveshaft failure. Pundits called the issue early on to be terminal, and sure enough Max was unable to exit the pits again.
In arguably the most representative session of the day, the two Mercedes trialled the red-walled soft tyres in order to gain all the much needed data to analyse after the day’s running concluded.
The two Scuderia Ferrari’s were looking set to complete an admirable day of practice, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. continuing their decent morning form to finish fourth and fifth respectively, but towards the end of the session Leclerc crashed out at the final corner to bring out a late red flag. Midfield scraps look to be on the cards as the pack seems ever-tightened, and Ferrari will be hoping to capitalise on their home hunting ground and avoid setbacks like Leclerc’s crash.
Scuderia AlphaTauri were envisaging blistering pace at the Imola circuit, and as of yet they have certainly found it. Pierre Gasly rounded out the top three having set a time just 0.078s slower than Bottas. Rookie Yuki Tsunoda also did well, finishing seventh after a morning spin.
A number of drivers fell victim to infamous track limits lap-time deletions (which feel somewhat more controversial after last week in Bahrain), one of which was Daniel Ricciardo who only managed to attain eighteenth after long-runs and deletions.
Lando Norris, who took an early trip across the gravel a mere five minutes into the session- went on to set a lap-time 0.934s slower than Bottas to muster eighth on the leader board.
Antonio Giovinazzi and Lance Stroll completed the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.
After suffering two spins in the first session, Nikita Mazepin took a trip through a gravel trap, telling the team that he felt like he was driving the car on ice.
The day’s running is over, yet conversation will be drawn to the battle between the Mercedes and Red Bull which is sure to rage in tomorrow’s Qualifying session. With Red Bull thought to have the upper hand, pressure will be on Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to regain the Silver Arrows’ dominant form and unseat the charging bulls.
Free Practice Two Timings
|1||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:15.551||25|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:15.561||+0.010s||26|
|3||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:15.629||+0.078s||30|
|4||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||1:15.834||+0.283s||30|
|5||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||1:16.371||+0.820s||28|
|6||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:16.411||+0.860s||25|
|7||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:16.419||+0.868s||26|
|8||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1:16.485||+0.934s||23|
|9||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen||1:16.513||+0.962s||25|
|10||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:16.737||+1.186s||25|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||1:16.817||+1.266s||27|
|12||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:16.823||+1.272s||29|
|13||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||1:16.835||+1.284s||27|
|14||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:16.999||+1.448s||5|
|15||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:17.092||+1.541s||27|
|16||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:17.179||+1.628s||31|
|17||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen||1:17.273||+1.722s||27|
|18||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1:17.281||+1.730s||24|
|19||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:17.350||+1.799s||28|
|20||9||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:17.857||+2.306s||16|