F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas heads FP2 Mercedes 1-2, Verstappen hits trouble

Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton in second practice for Formula 1’s 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen missed most of the session after stopping on-track.

F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas heads FP2 Mercedes 1-2, Verstappen hits trouble

The second one-hour session of Friday at Imola featured a number of unusual developments, as the Mercedes drivers did not find major gains using the soft tyres on their mid-session qualifying simulation runs, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc actually set FP2’s best time, but had it deleted for a track limits offence.

Leclerc then brought the session to an early end when he crashed at the second Rivazza corner in final minutes.

Much like in the day’s opening session, the first 15 minutes of the session were very busy, with several drivers enjoying time at the top of the standings.

George Russell led the pack out and duly set the opening lap of FP2 at 1m22.939s, which was soon bettered by Kimi Raikkonen’s 1m20.118s.

Carlos Sainz Jr and Leclerc brought the P1 benchmark into the 1m17s bracket, with the latter’s 1m17.076s taking him to the top of the times as he followed his team-mate around the 3-mile track.

Both Ferrari drivers were running the medium tyres – the same rubber Hamilton used to go fastest approaching the end of the opening 10 minutes of FP2 on a 1m16.940s.

Leclerc was able to get back ahead as his medium tyre run continued, but he lost what was then his best time for running too wide through the Piratella corner at the top of the track’s steep hill in the second sector.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, gets out of his car after going off

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, gets out of his car after going off

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Just after this, Bottas took first place on a 1m16.468s before Hamilton wrestled it back with a 1m16.227s, as the majority of the pack continued to use the medium tyres.

Bottas improved his best effort and the fastest time overall to a 1m15.551s with nearly 15 minutes completed and this time ended up as the best lap of FP2.

After a short lull in action at this point in proceedings, the two Ferrari cars appeared on the medium tyres, which Leclerc used to set a 1m15.367s – but he lost this time as well for the same infraction at Piratella.

The Mercedes drivers were also sent out on the softs for a series of qualifying simulation runs, but despite appearing to be pushing hard, neither made the improvements expected with the change to the red-walled rubber.

Bottas never bettered his best times on the mediums, and although Hamilton did he still wound up 0.010s slower than his team-mate’s best time on the harder tyres.

Pierre Gasly used the softs to slot in ahead of Sainz and Leclerc, who finished with an official best time of 1m16.371s – a subsequent legal lap following his second time being deleted, that was set on the soft tyres.

Leclerc’s crash occurred with 56 minutes completed when he lost the rear of his Ferrari as he ran along the kerbs between the two Rivazza turns, the car swinging around as he turned in for the second left-hander.

He managed to catch the rear but the correction caused Leclerc to spear off the track and hit the wall, knocking off the right front wheel.

Sergio Perez took sixth for Red Bull, which had a low-key session after Verstappen’s early stoppage.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Verstappen had looked to be matching Mercedes’ early session times on the mediums, but as he exited Rivazza on a lap at the end of the opening 10 minutes he reported “something snapped on the rear” – a suspected driveshaft issue – and he pulled over at the end of the pitlane exit.

Although Verstappen’s car was returned to the Red Bull garage just past the half-way point, he did not return.

Yuki Tsunoda finished seventh in the second AlphaTauri car, with Lando Norris, who had a trip through the gravel at Tamburello early in the session, ending up in eighth.

Antonio Giovinazzi was ninth for Alfa Romeo, with Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10 for Aston Martin ahead of the Alpine pair Esteban Ocon – straight out behind Russell at the session’s start following his clash with Perez in FP1 – and Fernando Alonso.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'15.551  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'15.561 0.010
3 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1'15.629 0.078
4 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'15.834 0.283
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'16.371 0.820
6 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'16.411 0.860
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1'16.419 0.868
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'16.485 0.934
9 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'16.513 0.962
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1'16.737 1.186
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'16.817 1.266
12 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'16.823 1.272
13 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 1'16.835 1.284
14 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'16.999 1.448
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1'17.092 1.541
16 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 1'17.179 1.628
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1'17.273 1.722
18 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1'17.281 1.730
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 1'17.350 1.799
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 1'17.857 2.306
shares
comments
Why Ferrari's significant step isn't enough for Leclerc
Previous article

Why Ferrari's significant step isn't enough for Leclerc

Next article

Local fibre line failure caused F1 data outage at Imola

Local fibre line failure caused F1 data outage at Imola
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022