Emilia Romagna GP: Hamilton leads Verstappen in practice

Lewis Hamilton set the pace for Mercedes in the sole Formula 1 practice session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on Saturday, edging out Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Emilia Romagna GP: Hamilton leads Verstappen in practice

As part of the revised two-day race weekend format at Imola, drivers were handed a single 90-minute practice session on Saturday morning to dial their cars in ahead of qualifying later today.

In the first official on-track running for F1 at Imola since 2006, Hamilton was able to take top spot ahead of Verstappen and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen set the initial pace in practice on the hard compound tyre before Bottas was able to jump ahead on the timesheets on mediums as Red Bull and Mercedes opted for different run plans.

Verstappen and Bottas traded fastest times after making the switch to soft tyres and completing their qualifying simulations, with the Red Bull driver setting the faster time.

Hamilton initially split his rivals on the timesheets, lapping close to two-tenths of a second slower than Verstappen, only to go faster on his second push lap on softs with a time of 1m14.726s.

It was enough to give Hamilton P1 by 0.297 seconds from Verstappen, while Bottas was almost half a second down on his teammate’s fastest time.

All three set their best lap times with around 30 minutes remaining in the session before shifting focus to race simulations, similar to a traditional FP2.

A flurry of laps on the soft compound tyre saw AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly rise up to fourth place in the final few minutes of the session, leading the midfield cars and finishing just nine-tenths of a second off Hamilton at the top.

Charles Leclerc made a late improvement to finish fifth for Ferrari despite reporting throughout the session that his car was “difficult to drive” as he struggled with understeer.

Renault got both of its cars into the top 10 as Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon finished sixth and seventh, followed by Daniil Kvyat in the second AlphaTauri in eighth place.

Alexander Albon took ninth for Red Bull, lapping over a second slower than Verstappen in the sister RB16 car after having a number of laps deleted in the early part of the session.

Albon was caught out for exceeding track limits at Piratella and at the exit of Variante Alta, prompting the Anglo-Thai driver to vent his frustration about the stewards’ clampdown.

Albon was far from the only driver to struggle with track limits as more than 40 lap times were deleted by race control through the session.

Racing Point pair Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez took 10th and 11th place ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari. Vettel focused on hard-tyre running for much of the session, but made a late improvement on softs to finish 12th overall ahead of Haas’s Romain Grosjean.

Carlos Sainz survived a wide moment at Rivazza early in the session that sent him through the gravel to finish 14th overall for McLaren. Teammate Lando Norris finished two places behind in 16th as the duo were split by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi.

Kimi Raikkonen finished 17th for Alfa Romeo ahead of Williams’ George Russell, who struggled with some set-up changes made on his car through the session.

Kevin Magnussen took 19th for Haas ahead of Nicholas Latifi, who propped up the timesheets for Williams in 20th and completed the fewest laps after an early brake issue. 

Emilia Romagna GP - Practice results:

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 46 1'14.726  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 39 1'15.023 0.297
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 47 1'15.218 0.492
4 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 46 1'15.633 0.907
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 41 1'15.688 0.962
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 32 1'15.839 1.113
7 France Esteban Ocon Renault 44 1'15.945 1.219
8 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 47 1'15.966 1.240
9 Thailand Alex Albon Red Bull 41 1'16.061 1.335
10 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 42 1'16.082 1.356
11 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 42 1'16.109 1.383
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 40 1'16.167 1.441
13 France Romain Grosjean Haas 42 1'16.550 1.824
14 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 42 1'16.560 1.834
15 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 33 1'16.564 1.838
16 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 45 1'16.671 1.945
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 43 1'16.684 1.958
18 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 43 1'16.780 2.054
19 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 45 1'17.060 2.334
20 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 29 1'17.779 3.053
shares
comments

Related video

Renault frustrated with F1 rivals blocking Alonso test
Previous article

Renault frustrated with F1 rivals blocking Alonso test

Next article

Wolff on hunt for Mercedes F1 team boss successor

Wolff on hunt for Mercedes F1 team boss successor
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022