Imola, FP2: Bottas continues to set the pace as Verstappen hits trouble

Hamilton 2nd, Gasly 3rd

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By Olivier Ferret

16 April 2021 - 15:41
Imola, FP2: Bottas continues to set (...)

After going quickest in the morning session at Imola, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas continued to set the pact in practice for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Finn, who was on pole at Imola last year, beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot in the session by the tiny margin of 0.010s.

There was trouble, though, for Max Verstappen. With just 10 minutes gone in the session the Dutchman parked his Red Bull Racing RB16B close to the pit exit with a technical issue. His car was eventually recovered to the Red bull garage after a long wait and it looked like he might be able to rejoin the action. But after the problem was diagnosed as a driveshaft issue he played no further part in the session and finished 14th on the timesheet.

In a busy start to the session Hamilton set the early pace with a medium-tyre lap of 1:16.940.

Bottas then moved ahead by almost half a second before Hamilton took back control with a lap of 1m16.227s. Bottas then dipped below the 1m16s bracket with a lap of 1m15.551.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc might have stolen top spot with a soft-tyre, lap of 1:15.367s but the Monegasque driver ran wide at Piratella and his time was deleted.

Bottas and Hamilton also tried the soft tyres but oddly neither made significant improvement on their medium-tyres times and Bottas’ 1:15.551 remained the quickest of the hour. Hamilton did make a gain but only to 0.010 behind his team-mate.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly used the softs to take fourth place ahead of the Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Leclerc.

Leclerc’s session ended in dramatic fashion when, with four minutes left on the clock, he crashed out at Rivazza sustaining heavy damage to his car.

Sergio Pérez took sixth for Red Bull, with Yuki Tsunoda seventh for AlphaTauri. Lando Norris finished eighth for McLaren with Antonio Giovinazzi ninth for Alfa Romeo and Lance Stroll 10th for Aston Martin.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W12 1:15.551 25
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12 1:15.561 26
03 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:15.629 30
04 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 1:15.834 30
05 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:16.371 28
06 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:16.411 25
07 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:16.419 26
08 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:16.485 23
09 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:16.513 25
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:16.737 25
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A521 1:19.817 27
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:16.823 29
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A521 1:16.835 27
14 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:16.999 5
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:17.092 27
16 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:17.179 31
17 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:17.273 27
18 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:17.281 24
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:17.350 28
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:17.857 16

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