Italian GP – Takeaways from Friday Practice

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Sebastian Vettel went fastest at the start of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The German champion led the way in the dry FP2 session, ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Racing Point Force India enjoyed a good start as Sergio Pérez topped the wet FP1,, with Esteban Ocon third.

Italian GP – Takeaways from Friday Practice

Both free practice sessions happened in different weather conditions. The rain made its presence felt during the First Practice session (FP1). During FP2, the conditions were dry. The Pirelli tire choice for this race is the white-striped medium tire, yellow-striped soft tire, and the red-striped supersoft tire.

Perez recorded his fastest lap in the first practice session in his last attempt with a 1:34.000s lap time. Vettel went fastest in FP2 with a 1.21.105s, 0.270s clear from his rivals.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had a terrible crash due to a DRS malfunction at the start of FP2 but was lucky to walk away unharmed.

The main takeaways from the two practice sessions were:

  • Although Vettel recorded the fastest lap of the day, the German hit trouble in both sessions. In FP1, Ferrari’s main driver went out for four laps and then had a gearbox change in his car. In FP2, he had a spin at the Parabolica which saw his car bump into the barriers.
  • MercedesLewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas did not have a good performance during FP1, but lined up third and fourth in the afternoon session.
  • Ferrari showed once again they have brilliant straight-line speed. Hamilton was third in the FP2 standings 0.287s behind Vettel’s lap time, while Bottas was 0.698s behind.
  • Red Bull was again in no man’s land, with no threat from behind and without chances of reaching Ferrari and Mercedes level. Max Verstappen finished fifth in FP2, and Daniel Ricciardo ended up sixth, both cars were more than a second behind Vettel’s time.
  • Force India dominated the midfield, with Esteban Ocon seventh and Sergio Pérez eighth in the dry session.
  • McLaren remain at the back of the field. Lando Norris took over Vandoorne’s car in FP1 and finished last.
  • Fernando Alonso finished 18th and Stoffel Vandoorne 19th, only in front of Ericsson, who could not complete one lap in FP2.
  • Toro Rosso-Honda impressed in the wet FP1, with Brendon Hartley in fourth place and Pierre Gasly in sixth
  • Sauber‘s Charles Leclerc finished ninth in FP2, very close to both Force India’s cars.
  • Haas F1 team and Renault battled for a spot in the top 10.

The Last Word

Ferrari is favourite for its home Grand Prix, but Mercedes continues to be a close threat. Vettel’s weekend started well from the speed standpoint, but between mechanical issues and his crash in FP2, his Friday was eventful.

Results of FP1:

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.000 18
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.550 +0.550s 28
3 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.593 +0.593s 17
4 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.024 +1.024s 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:35.207 +1.207s 13
6 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.438 +1.438s 19
7 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:35.665 +1.665s 10
8 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:35.995 +1.995s 15
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:36.107 +2.107s 15
10 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:36.238 +2.238s 8
11 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:36.546 +2.546s 6
12 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:36.648 +2.648s 10
13 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:37.066 +3.066s 13
14 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:37.426 +3.426s 14
15 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:37.683 +3.683s 13
16 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:37.790 +3.790s 11
17 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:37.867 +3.867s 4
18 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:37.929 +3.929s 10
19 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:38.253 +4.253s 8
20 47 Lando Norris MCLAREN RENAULT 1:38.282 +4.282s 9

Results of FP2:

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:21.105 27
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:21.375 +0.270s 31
3 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:21.392 +0.287s 31
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:21.803 +0.698s 35
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:22.154 +1.049s 28
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:22.296 +1.191s 28
7 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:22.930 +1.825s 30
8 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:22.942 +1.837s 32
9 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:22.965 +1.860s 20
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:23.063 +1.958s 30
11 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:23.077 +1.972s 31
12 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:23.193 +2.088s 32
13 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:23.233 +2.128s 28
14 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:23.402 +2.297s 34
15 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:23.514 +2.409s 28
16 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:23.531 +2.426s 16
17 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:23.566 +2.461s 29
18 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:23.741 +2.636s 23
19 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 1:24.084 +2.979s 30
20 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 2

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