Hamilton leads Verstappen in sole practice session at Imola · RaceFans

by Oct 31, 20200 comments

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Lewis Hamilton led the only practice session for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix as Max Verstappen split the Mercedes drivers at Imola.

The Mercedes driver set a quickest time of 1’14.726 around the track, which has been altered since F1’s last visit for the San Marino Grand Prix in 2006. Verstappen led the way initially before Hamilton moved ahead, becoming the only driver to lap the course in less than 75 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas was third-quickest in the second Mercedes, albeit almost half a second behind his team mate. The AlphaTauri drivers, who ran at the track earlier this year, put their recent experience to good use, Pierre Gasly taking fourth place.

The Ferrari drivers also did qualifying simulations at the end of the session. Charles Leclerc jumped up to fifth behind Gasly, who was also separated from his team mate by the two Renault drivers. Sebastian Vettel went into the final minutes of the session in last place, but improved to 12th, but like Bottas was nearly half a second behind his team mate.

Several teams opted for late flying runs ahead of qualifying. Lando Norris briefly had his McLaren up to sixth place, then had a lap time deleted for a track limits infringement, as did several other drivers during the session. He fell to 16th in the final classification.

Alexander Albon therefore took ninth – a full second behind team mate Verstappen – with the Racing Point drivers straddled the top 10 divide, Lance Stroll pipping Sergio Perez by two hundredths of a second.

With only 90 minutes of running available before the qualifying session this afternoon, track time was at a premium and teams were at pains to avoid any lost running. The session ran without incident – barring a few runs through the gravel traps – and most drivers logged around 40 laps. An exception was Nicholas Latifi, who lost time with a brake-by-wire fault on his Williams.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix first practice result

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’14.726

+0.297 Max Verstappen – 1’15.023

+0.492 Valtteri Bottas – 1’15.218

+0.907 Pierre Gasly – 1’15.633

+0.962 Charles Leclerc – 1’15.688

+1.113 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’15.839

+1.219 Esteban Ocon – 1’15.945

+1.240 Daniil Kvyat – 1’15.966

+1.335 Alexander Albon – 1’16.061

+1.356 Lance Stroll – 1’16.082

+1.383 Sergio Perez – 1’16.109

+1.441 Sebastian Vettel – 1’16.167

+1.824 Romain Grosjean – 1’16.550

+1.834 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’16.560

+1.838 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’16.564

+1.945 Lando Norris – 1’16.671

+1.958 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’16.684

+2.054 George Russell – 1’16.780

+2.334 Kevin Magnussen – 1’17.060

+3.053 Nicholas Latifi – 1’17.779

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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