Imola, FP1: Leclerc quickest in wet first practice for Emilia Romagna GP

Sainz 2nd, Verstappen 3rd


By Olivier Ferret

22 April 2022 - 14:33
Imola, FP1: Leclerc quickest in wet (...)

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc set the fastest lap of a rain-hit opening practice session for this weekend’s FIA Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, beating team-mate Carlos Sainz by almost nine tenths of a second, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas’s set the pace initially with a lap of 1:43.277. That was beaten by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen’s 1:42.539 but Bottas then moved ahead with a lap of 1:40.216.

The conditions were proving treacherous, though, and a number of drivers had off track moments in the early stages. Leclerc spin at the Variante Alta and McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine Esteban Ocon were caught out on the approach to Rivazza.

Verstappen took over in P1 after 10 minutes with a lap of 1:39.595 on his first run before

Leclerc jumped to P1 on a 1:39.325. Verstappen responded top lower the benchmark to 1:36.158 but as the 20-minute mark was reached Leclerc moved back to P1 with a 1:35.629. He then suffered another spin, this time in Acque Minerali. Sergio Pérez then moved ahead in the second Red Bull with a lap of 1:35.476.

A drier line was now beginning to appear and Carlos Sainz took top spot on intermediate tyres with a lap of 1:33.716 which he then improved by a tenth of a second. Leclerc also used the green-walled tyres to recapture P1 with a time of 1:32.512 but after getting a tow from his team-mate Sainz edged his way back to the top with a lap of 1:30.803. Finally, with just under 10 minutes remaining, Leclerc went back ahead with a lap of 1:29.402 which would stand as the session’s best lap. Verstappen was able to improve,. to 1:30.867 but that was 1.455s off Leclerc’s best effort.

Behind the Dutch driver Magnussen held on to fourth sport with a lap of 1:32.439, three seconds off Leclerc. Fifth place went to the Dane’s team-mate Mick Schumacher with Pérez sixth quickest. Fernando Alonso was seventh for Alpine ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda and Mercedes’ George Russell.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:29.402 24
02 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:30.279 25
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:30.867 21
04 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:32.439 23
05 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:32.988 23
06 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:33.012 17
07 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:33.160 13
08 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:33.365 22
09 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:33.611 18
10 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:34.262 21
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:34.615 19
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:35.104 19
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:35.420 14
14 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:35.502 12
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:35.625 15
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:36.033 23
17 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:36.461 17
18 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:36.464 17
19 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:37.450 22
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:39.698 15

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