F1 Tuscan GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 at Mugello in twice-stopped session

Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton to the top spot in Formula 1's second practice session for the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix, which was twice red flagged

F1 Tuscan GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 at Mugello in twice-stopped session

Both Ferrari cars had spins in the third sector at what is the squad's own track, but it was Lando Norris's crash just before half distance and Sergio Perez tagging Kimi Raikkonen late on that caused the two stoppages.

Under clear skies and strong sun, the F1 field continued to find the limit at Mugello - where Norris' off led to the first disruption of the weekend.

The McLaren driver had just begun a flying lap on the soft tyres approaching the 40-minute mark in the 90-minute FP2 session when he had to correct a slight moment of oversteer running through the third corner - Poggio Secco.

This put Norris fractionally wide on the exit and as his wheels dipped into the gravel beyond the outside kerbs his car snapped left and he speared into the wall on the outside, knocking off his front wing.

The session resumed after a near 10-minute delay for this incident, after which Norris did not return to the track, where Bottas had already claimed the top spot during his early laps on the medium tyres with a 1m18.019s after Norris had led the initial running with a 1m18.685s - also on the yellow-walled rubber.

The Mercedes drivers took the restart on the softs and moved to lower the benchmark, with Bottas leading Hamilton around the 3.25-mile circuit.

The Finn set the fastest times in the first and second sectors on his way to the session's fastest - a 1m16.989s - with Hamilton taking the fastest time in the final sector but ending up 0.207s adrift.

The Red Bull drivers slotted into third and fourth, with Max Verstappen's best time on the softs coming in 0.246s slower than Bottas, while his team-mate Alex Albon ended up a further 0.736s behind on a 1m17.971s.

The top four were the only drivers to get under the 1m18s bracket during the qualifying simulation runs, after which the rest of FP2 was dedicated to long-run data gathering as per usual.

This was interrupted by a second, much shorter, red flag that was caused when Perez exited the pits with just under 15 minutes remaining and tagged Raikkonen's left rear as the Alfa Romeo swept into Turn 1 ahead of the Racing Point.

The clash sent Raikkonen off backwards beyond Turn 1 - although he was able to return to the pits - and broke Perez's left-front front wing endplate off, which meant the session was stopped again so the debris could be recovered.

The incident will be investigated after the session.

Daniel Ricciardo set his best time just before the Norris red flag, and he held on to fifth after majority of the pack completed their qualifying practice after the first restart.

Ricciardo's Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon slotted into sixth at this point, and he finished ahead of Perez, Monza winner Pierre Gasly and Raikkonen.

Charles Leclerc took 10th for Ferrari after spinning off going through the long right of Correntaio just before the 15-minute mark.

He lost the rear of his near-maroon liveried SF1000 following a slowly touring Alfa Romeo through the turn and went off backwards before gathering things up and continuing.

Lance Stroll was 11th for Racing Point, ahead of Sebastian Vettel - who also spun at Correntaio, but further around the turn compared to Leclerc.

Vettel's off happened just past the one-hour mark as he also suddenly lost the rear of his car, sliding sideways across the inside of Biondetti 1 before carrying on.

Vettel then reported "the engine stopped" on his final lap back to the pits at the end of the session and he pulled over on the inside of Biondetti 2.

Norris finished 14th in the final standings, with just nine laps on the board and his best lap staying as his early effort on the mediums, while Romain Grosjean brought up the rear of the field and completed just five laps as Haas was forced to inspect an electrical problem on his car.

F1 Tuscan GP FP2 results

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.989s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.207s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 0.246s
4 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 0.982s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.050s
6 Esteban Ocon Renault 1.126s
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1.209s
8 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1.255s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1.396s
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1.411s
11 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1.473s
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.509s
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1.662s
14 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1.669s
15 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1.747s
16 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1.854s
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1.955s
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1.994s
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 2.124s
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 2.268s


shares
comments
F1 trackside at Mugello: Does it live up to the hype?

Previous article

F1 trackside at Mugello: Does it live up to the hype?

Next article

Norris: Tuscan GP FP2 crash felt "a lot worse" than it looked

Norris: Tuscan GP FP2 crash felt "a lot worse" than it looked
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021