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Live: F1 Imola GP updates – FP1 & FP2

The seventh round of the 2024 Formula 1 season begins with the first and second practice sessions for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola and you can follow the action here.

F1 returns to Imola having cancelled last year's event following extensive flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region.

Teams and drivers will be able to relax somewhat this weekend, with the schedule reverting back to a normal format after two sprint weekends in China and Miami - the latter of which saw a new grand prix winner in McLaren's Lando Norris.

FP1 starts at 12:30am BST (13:30am local time) followed by FP2 at 4:00pm BST (5:00pm local time).

By: Haydn Cobb, Ewan Gale

Summary

  • Leclerc leads practice sweep at F1 Emilia Romagna GP
  • Verstappen seventh after difficult day
  • Miami winner Norris made mistake on flying lap
Leaderboard:
  1. Leclerc, Ferrari
  2. Piastri, McLaren
  3. Tsunoda, RB
  4. Hamilton, Mercedes
  5. Russell, Mercedes
  6. Sainz, Ferrari
  7. Verstappen, Red Bull
  8. Perez, Red Bull
  9. Hulkenberg, Haas
  10. Alonso, Aston Martin
Status: Stopped
With that, we'll call time on the live coverage of Friday's running at the Imola GP. That pair of practice sessions sets up the rest of the weekend nicely and there is plenty of intrigue for what Saturday will bring. Join us tomorrow for final practice (11:30am BST) and qualifying (3pm BST). Until then, go well!
Here's the full report on Imola GP FP2.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

So, advantage Ferrari and Leclerc after today while both Red Bulls are on the back foot. What will tomorrow bring?
 
The chequered flag is out for FP2, so Leclerc goes double top on Friday for Ferrari. Piastri takes second from Tsunoda, Hamilton, Russel and Sainz. Verstappen and Perez only seventh and eighth respectively.
That Perez vs Leclerc incident will be investigated after the session by the stewards. They've got a surprisingly busy evening coming up with Tsunoda to meet too.
Verstappen isn't the only one going over the limits, as Sainz dips two wheels on the gravel out of the Villeneuve chicane. He gets away with it but gets a rough ride for his troubles.
For the third time today Verstappen takes a gravelly detour. This time it is between the two Rivazza corners and the Dutch driver skates across the run-off and continues on. A very messy day.
Perez and Leclerc get in each other's way, the Ferrari driver approaching from behind and getting held up at the Villeneuve chicane, so he dives up the inside at Tosa and runs the Mexican wide. They both blame each other, naturally.
Anyway, long runs are the order of the day. Both Ferraris, Red Bulls and McLaren's Norris are on mediums while both Mercedes and McLaren's Piastri are on hards.
TV replays show Tsunoda was out of position for his practice start, way ahead of where it is indicated by race direction which is before the pit exit lights. He actually did it just before where they will do practice starts pre-race on Sunday. Naughty naughty.
The lap time gains have eased off as everyone gets into the long runs for the rest of this session. So unless anyone goes for a glory run - very unlikely - it'll be Leclerc on top again for Ferrari.
Tsunoda will be investigated after FP2 for a practice start infringement. That is likely to be down to him potentially not undertaking a practice start in the right place at the end of the pitlane.
It must be said Hamilton has been guilty of dawdling and unsettling a few drivers today - Verstappen and Alonso in this session alone. Thankfully no harm done.
"****, my god, I don't know man. It's so difficult, everything man, this time suddenly the front grips up a lot and I almost spin," Verstappen reports over team radio. To make matters worse, he almost trips over a slow-moving Hamilton and the pair exchange hand gestures.
A few drivers are finding gains from a second push lap on the softs, including Leclerc, who improves the overall best to a 1m15.906s. Hamilton also found time and moved up to fourth for Mercedes.
The sister Red Bull squad isn't suffering, as Tsunoda pops up to third place for RB and just three-tenths off Leclerc.
The usual Red Bull surge hasn't been forthcoming so far, with Verstappen's quali simulation putting him sixth and Perez one spot back. Is this a sign Red Bull is struggling this weekend?
Russell makes it three different manufacturers in the top three with a 1m16.311s to go third. Still no sign of Norris since his earlier lap that he bailed out of.
Piastri splits the Ferraris in second and just 0.129s off Leclerc. Further back Verstappen could only manage fourth and nearly half a second back.
Leclerc shows everyone how it is done with a 1m15.969s on the softs to pull almost half a second clear of nearest challenger Sainz.
Norris looks nailed on to go top but he goes wide out of Rivazza and rumbles over the kerbs which forces him to bail out of the lap and pit.
Russell punches in a 1m16.820s on softs to go fourth - 0.143s off Leclerc's leading effort set on mediums.
They are joined by a number of drivers and many are running on the soft tyres. Pirelli has gone a step softer with its compounds this weekend and that means the soft is the C5 compound - the softest of the softs.
Russell breaks the track silence as he ventures out and moments later he is joined by Albon who makes his first appearance since pulling off with a broken Williams in FP1.
Every driver is back in the pits following the first runs. Well, neither Williams got out in the first place, but they are in the right place at least.
Verstappen isn't the only one with a different voice on the other end of his radio - Leclerc's new permanent engineer Bryan Bozzi is making his debut in the role this weekend. The Monegasque asks him to check the power steering after an issue coming through Acque Minerali.
Sainz makes it a Ferrari 1-2 at the head of the times, just missing out to Leclerc by 0.003s.
Alonso gets held up by Hamilton coming out of Tosa and complains over team radio stating that he did the same thing on the lap before at Acque Minerali. Imola is a tight and narrow circuit so that'll be a theme throughout practice and qualifying.
Leclerc is on top now with a 1m16.677s on the medium tyres.
Still no sign of either Williams, while Piastri has ventured out, with both cars up in the jacks. The floor is off Albon's car right now, so it isn't looking good.
Verstappen is asked for a car balance update and reports: "Yeah, better already with this tyre." The voice at the other end of the line isn't one we usually hear, as Red Bull is giving performance engineer Tom Hart a go on the cans to gain experience - and give Gianpiero Lambiase a rest from Verstappen chewing his ear off!
Hulkenberg pits on his second lap with an issue reported with his Haas. Meanwhile at Variante Alta, Gasly spins coming out of the chicane but is able to get away without a fuss in his Alpine.
The early lap times sees Verstappen on top with a 1m16.930s from Norris, Leclerc and Sainz. The McLaren is flooded with flow-vis paint on the left-hand sidepod to really spoil the papaya and black colour palette.
Nearly everybody fancies it early doors, with just the two Williams and McLaren's Piastri preferring to stay in the shade of the garage.
FP2 is under way! There's an orderly queue at pitlane exit with Russell at the front of it.
The track is packed with fans already this weekend, potentially making up for the cancelled Imola event last year due to flooding, but no such concerns this year. The place looks stunning in the spring sunshine.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The drivers are in the garages ready for the start of the session. Compared to recent weekends this will feel like an lifetime of track time to dial in set-up and continue comparison tests with the series of upgrades up and down the grid.
But it was a strong start for Ferrari, with Leclerc topping the session and Sainz in third, which is a promising early sign for the team's upgrade package that has arrived at Imola.
Albon wasn't the only one to hit trouble in first practice, as the windy conditions and kerbs caught out a few drivers, including Verstappen twice and Hamilton once. It was a messy session, all told.

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