F1 – Bottas continues to set the pace at Imola as Verstappen hits trouble | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

F1 – Bottas continues to set the pace at Imola as Verstappen hits trouble

  • gb
16.04.21

After going quickest in the morning session at Imola, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas continued to set the pact in practice for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Finn, who was on pole at Imola last year, beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot in the session by the tiny margin of 0.010s.

There was trouble, though, for Max Verstappen. With just 10 minutes gone in the session the Dutchman parked his Red Bull Racing RB16B close to the pit exit with a technical issue. His car was eventually recovered to the Red bull garage after a long wait and it looked like he might be able to rejoin the action. But after the problem was diagnosed as a driveshaft issue he played no further part in the session and finished 14th on the timesheet.

In a busy start to the session Hamilton set the early pace with a medium-tyre lap of 1:16.940.

Bottas then moved ahead by almost half a second before Hamilton took back control with a lap of 1m16.227s. Bottas then dipped below the 1m16s bracket with a lap of 1m15.551.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc might have stolen top spot with a soft-tyre, lap of 1:15.367s but the Monegasque driver ran wide at Piratella and his time was deleted.

Bottas and Hamilton also tried the soft tyres but oddly neither made significant improvement on their medium-tyres times and Bottas’ 1:15.551 remained the quickest of the hour. Hamilton did make a gain but only to 0.010 behind his team-mate.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly used the softs to take fourth place ahead of the Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Leclerc.

Leclerc’s session ended in dramatic fashion when, with four minutes left on the clock, he crashed out at Rivazza sustaining heavy damage to his car.

Sergio Pérez took sixth for Red Bull, with Yuki Tsunoda seventh for AlphaTauri. Lando Norris finished eighth for McLaren with Antonio Giovinazzi ninth for Alfa Romeo and Lance Stroll 10th for Aston Martin.

2021 FIA Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:15.551 25 233.913
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:15.561 0.010 26 233.882
3 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:15.629 0.078 30 233.672
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:15.834 0.283 30 233.040
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:16.371 0.820 28 231.401
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:16.411 0.860 25 231.280
7 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:16.419 0.868 26 231.256
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:16.485 0.934 23 231.057
9 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:16.513 0.962 25 230.972
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:16.737 1.186 25 230.298
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:16.817 1.266 27 230.058
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:16.823 1.272 29 230.040
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:16.835 1.284 27 230.004
14 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:16.999 1.448 5 229.514
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:17.092 1.541 27 229.237
16 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:17.179 1.628 31 228.979
17 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:17.273 1.722 27 228.700
18 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:17.281 1.730 24 228.677
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:17.350 1.799 28 228.473
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:17.857 2.306 16 226.985