Valtteri Bottas has stayed on top of the timesheets as Friday’s practice for this weekend’s Tuscan Formula 1 Grand Prix at Mugello drew to a close, with the Finnish driver leading a Mercedes-AMG lockout ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The rollercoaster-like Mugello circuit provided plenty of action in the afternoon’s 90-minute hit-out as drivers explored the limits of the layout and their diminishing tyre grip in very hot conditions.
Bottas appeared at ease on the fast and flowing 5.2-kilometre circuit and ended up lowering his unofficial lap record posted in FP1 earlier in the day. He was the only driver to lap under the 1m17s barrier, clocking a 1:16.989 as he unlocked nearly a second of pace compared to his morning’s benchmark pace. Teammate Hamilton was two-tenths of a second back.
The Red Bull Racing Hondas shadowed the Mercedes-AMG frontrunners with Max Verstappen and teammate Alexander Albon claiming third- and fourth-fastest. Verstappen was less than four-hundredths of a second slower than Hamilton’s best time, while Albon was a rather hefty seven-tenths off the Dutchman’s pace as he battled with his car’s sometimes inconsistent handling.
Continuing the Noah’s Ark look on the timesheets, the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were an encouraging fifth- and sixth-quickest. This was despite the Enstone squad predicting that its RS20 package might not be well-suited to the Mugello Circuit’s characteristics.
Renault’s chief rivals for ‘best of the rest’ honours, McLaren, had a troubled session by contrast. Lando Norris dropped his MCL35 at Turn 3 and spun into the wall, bringing out the red flags and ending his session. Teammate Carlos Sainz was left to complete the team’s program, but the pair wound up 13th and 14th fastest.
Also getting into grief was Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen, who tangled late in the session at Turn 1. Pérez had just exited the pits and clipped Räikkönen’s right-rear corner as they tried to occupy the same piece of tarmac. Räikkönen was sent spinning into the gravel trap, while Pérez was later handed a one-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race for his role in causing the collision.
Pérez- hot on the heels of his departure from Racing Point being announced – finished the session seventh-fastest, with Räikkönen in an encouraging ninth place. Splitting the pair was Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri Honda, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc rounded out the top ten.
Leclerc and teammate Sebastian Vettel – who finished P12, just 0.098 seconds slower – both had spins at the Correntaio corner during the session, while Vettel was forced to stop his SF1000 at the end of the session when its power unit appeared to cut out. Sandwiched between them was Vettel’s future Aston Martin Racing teammate Lance Stroll in the now-current Racing Point guise.
Daniil Kvyat was 15th-fastest in the second AlphaTauri, ahead of George Russell’s Williams Mercedes.
The bottom four places on the timesheets were claimed by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and the two Haas Ferraris of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean – the latter missed much of the session while an electrical issue was resolved.
|FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DELLA TOSCANA FERRARI 1000 2020 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 2|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:16.989||28|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:17.196||+ 0.207||29|
|3.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:17.235||+ 0.246||25|
|4.||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:17.971||+ 0.982||28|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:18.039||+ 1.050||32|
|6.||Esteban Ocon||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:18.115||+ 1.126||29|
|7.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:18.198||+ 1.209||34|
|8.||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:18.244||+ 1.255||30|
|9.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:18.385||+ 1.396||38|
|10.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:18.400||+ 1.411||27|
|11.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:18.462||+ 1.473||37|
|12.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:18.498||+ 1.509||39|
|13.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:18.651||+ 1.662||32|
|14.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:18.658||+ 1.669||9|
|15.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:18.736||+ 1.747||33|
|16.||George Russell||Williams Racing FW43||1:18.843||+ 1.854||33|
|17.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:18.944||+ 1.955||35|
|18.||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing FW43||1:18.983||+ 1.994||31|
|19.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:19.113||+ 2.124||32|
|20.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:19.257||+ 2.268||5|
Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team
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