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
Load comments
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021