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Practice report
Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

F1 Imola GP: Piastri leads McLaren 1-2 in FP3 as Perez and Alonso crash out

McLaren topped final practice for Formula 1’s 2024 Imola Grand Prix with a 1-2 led by Oscar Piastri in a session disrupted by crashes for Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Perez’s late shunt at the Variante Alta led to a last-gasp scramble for drivers to set final qualifying simulation times, where only Lando Norris was able to set a representative time that put him second 0.3s slower than his team-mate.

A host of drivers failed to set a time in this late rush, including Max Verstappen, who now heads into qualifying without a proper sighter on the soft tyres, as he and Perez spent the early part of the session concentrating on their overnight set-up work on the medium tyres.

Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished third and fourth with the times they had set during a series of soft-tyre runs in the first third of the session.

Leclerc did attempt to set a late final flying time as he overtook several cars including Sainz with an aggressive out-lap as the clock ticked down.

But having got by Piastri and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly on the run to start his last lap, Leclerc’s opening sector was slower than his personal best and he backed off.

Piastri’s session-setting time – a 1m15.529s – came as the pack was preparing more typically for late fliers in the final 10 minutes, but Perez’s accident cut these efforts short and meant even if drivers had had more time to run properly again, they were all set to do so on used rubber, including Norris at the head of the pack.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Perez lost his Red Bull’s rear as he bounced down to earth having whacked the kerbs at the Variante Alta’s first apex and his correction sent him off into the gravel and the barriers.

His medium tyre personal best meant he was shuffled down to 12th by those that did have time to improve pre-red flag one, which included George Russell nipping into fifth ahead of Verstappen in a session where both Mercedes cars complained of different ride problems.

The other stoppage came as the halfway stage approached when Alonso (18th in the final order) lost control of the rear of his car turning in from the kerbs between the Rivazza turns and spun off backwards into the barriers on the outside of the final corner.

F1 Imola GP: FP3 results

Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 15


2 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 15



0.300 233.055
3 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 22



0.238 232.326
4 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 20



0.020 232.265
5 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 16



0.008 232.241
6 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 21



0.271 231.417
7 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 14



0.104 231.102
8 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 19



0.011 231.069
9 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 24



0.062 230.881
10 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 15



0.004 230.869
11 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 RB Red Bull 15



0.013 230.830
12 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 18



0.071 230.616
13 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 RB Red Bull 14



0.037 230.505
14 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 Sauber Ferrari 15



0.027 230.424
15 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 16



0.099 230.127
16 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 12



0.129 229.741
17 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 16



0.037 229.630
18 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 10



0.379 228.505
19 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 17



0.022 228.440
20 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 Sauber Ferrari 15



0.530 226.886

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