Formula 1

2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Leclerc Leads First Practice as Verstappen Struggles

2 Mins read
Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

The weekend got underway in Imola, as Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in Free Practice One ahead of George Russell and his Scuderia Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.

It was an action packed session, with the multiple drivers struggling in certain parts of the track and going into the newly placed gravel traps. Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda both found themselves in the gravel trap at Turn 18, with the former going off during his qualifying simulation run. Max Verstappen was having major issues in the second sector. Despite going quickest in the first and third sectors, he was losing almost half a second in the middle and went off into the gravel multiple times. 

Alex Albon’s practice was limited after an issue caused him to pull over onto the grass, leading to a red flag. 

Once the chequered flag was shown, there was a close top ten, with plenty of drivers looking to improve going into the second hour of free practice this afternoon.

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Leclerc finished the session with a time of 1:16.990, ahead of Russell by +0.104. Sainz was less than half a tenth behind Russell in third. The Oracle Red Bull Racing duo of Sergio Pérez and Verstappen finished down in fourth and fifth, leaving them with plenty of work to do. 

Tsunoda had an impressive session, finishing sixth ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who had a spin in the final ten minutes of the session in the second sector. Lando Norris left it late to set a time on the soft compound, but finished the hour ahead of his teammate in eighth.

Fernando Alonso rounded out the top ten, ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll. Visa Cash App RB driver Ricciardo ended the day in thirteenth, ahead of Esteban Ocon. Ollie Bearman underwent his first practice session with Haas F1 Team of six this season and ended the day in fifteenth.

Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were down in sixteenth and seventeenth ahead of only Logan Sargeant, Albon and Nico Hülkenberg.

116Charles LeclercFERRARI1:16.99029
263George RussellMERCEDES1:17.094+0.104s27
355Carlos SainzFERRARI1:17.120+0.130s24
411Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:17.233+0.243s22
51Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:17.240+0.250s21
622Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:17.388+0.398s28
744Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:17.408+0.418s26
84Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:17.602+0.612s16
981Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:17.807+0.817s24
1014Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:17.867+0.877s18
1110Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:17.905+0.915s20
1218Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:18.072+1.082s21
133Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:18.142+1.152s25
1431Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:18.612+1.622s28
1550Oliver BearmanHAAS FERRARI1:18.667+1.677s30
1677Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:18.827+1.837s22
1724Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:19.129+2.139s17
182Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.901+2.911s21
1923Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:20.050+3.060s8
2027Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:21.059+4.069s19
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