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Practice report
Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

F1 Imola GP: Leclerc completes Friday sweep as Verstappen struggles continue

Charles Leclerc swept Friday practice for Formula 1’s 2024 Imola Grand Prix – leading FP2 where McLaren ran Ferrari close and Red Bull’s struggles with Max Verstappen continued.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Leclerc continued as the frontrunner through the early stages of the day’s second 60-minute session, after he had also led Friday afternoon’s FP1 action, when the cars were split across the medium and hard tyres.

When they switched to the softs for the mid-session qualifying simulation runs, Leclerc set the best time benchmark at 1m15.969s, before using a second set of the red-walled rubber to blast to a session-topping 1m15.906s.

McLaren might have headed Ferrari as Lando Norris’s sole soft tyre flier started with a pair of purple sectors before he ran too wide out of the two downhill Rivazza corners.

When Norris dipped his right-side wheels into the gravel on the exit of the second turn, he stamped on the brakes and abandoned his lap in the pits from which he only returned later on to complete the high-fuel running that typically concludes FP2 action.

Oscar Piastri was able to get to 0.192s back from Leclerc on his qualifying simulation effort, with Yuki Tsunoda starring for RB as he slotted into third.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell improved with their second softs laps to move into fourth and fifth – bumping Carlos Sainz down in the other Ferrari as he had had an off-track moment at the Variante Alta on his second flying lap.

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Around all of this, Verstappen posted a first softs flier that put him 0.541s on Leclerc’s eventual best time – the world champion again struggling significantly in the middle sector, where he had been off-track in FP2.

Then, when he and team-mate Sergio Perez (eighth behind Verstappen’s final position of seventh) attempted a second qualifying simulation run, Verstappen came across Hamilton touring slowly through the Villeneuve chicane and angrily aborted his run.

When Verstappen cut across the Mercedes’ bow to show his fury – Hamilton offering a hand up in apology from his cockpit – Perez was bearing down on the pair on the approach to Tosa and so he too backed off.

Verstappen then later had an off-track moment through the gravel between the Rivazzas as he completed his high-fuel running.

Norris’s lack of completed softs run meant he finished down in 12th, behind Daniel Ricciardo in the other RB.

F1 Imola GP: FP2 results

Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 29


2 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 30



0.192 232.232
3 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 RB Red Bull 32



0.188 231.659
4 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 29



0.011 231.626
5 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 32



0.014 231.583
6 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 30



0.112 231.244
7 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 23



0.024 231.171
8 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 25



0.105 230.854
9 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 28



0.274 230.031
10 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 29



0.012 229.995
11 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 RB Red Bull 32



0.129 229.610
12 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 30



0.013 229.571
13 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 26



0.011 229.538
14 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 31



0.017 229.487
15 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 32



0.056 229.321
16 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 Sauber Ferrari 28



0.024 229.249
17 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 32



0.041 229.127
18 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 23



0.006 229.110
19 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 Sauber Ferrari 28



0.471 227.719
20 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 22



0.242 227.011

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