Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP1 at Monza as Max Verstappen causes red flag

04-09-2020 10:55 | Updated: 04-09-2020 11:33
by Louis Shaw
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Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP1 at Monza as Max Verstappen causes red flag

Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheet in FP1 at the Italian Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton who was just 0.245 behind his Mercedes teammate. The Finn set a 1.20.7 on the soft tyre and will hope to stay ahead and take the championship battle to the Brit. 

Hustle and bustle at Monza

Prior to the Italian Grand Prix, the topic of discussion was the ban on qualifying modes and what effect that would have on the performance of Mercedes. In addition, this is also the last weekend that we will see Claire and Frank Williams as they resign from the team sold to Dorilton Capital after this Grand Prix.

A new driver joined the Williams team during FP1. The Israeli, Roy Nissany, got into George Russell's car during the session and had a good time clocking up some laps in a Formula 1 car. Nissany has been in the car before and will be in action in Formula 2 this weekend.

Slow start

The first half-hour was pretty quiet at the historic circuit. Mercedes were back on track with the fastest time, but Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon were able to follow the pace of the Mercedes drivers. Alex did this on the medium tyre, where Verstappen, like Hamilton, was active on the hard compound.

Verstappen's crash

Action stopped abruptly halfway through the session as Verstappen caused a red flag. In the middle of Ascari, the Dutchman lost control of his Red Bull Racing car and flew into the wall. Verstappen did his best to limit the damage but came out with a broken front wing and some minor floor damage. 

Red Bull Racing fixed the car in incredible time and it was just over 20 minutes before the Dutchman was back out on the soft tyre setting laps. 

Mercedes on top again 

It was another Mercedes one-two finish and it was never in doubt. This time Bottas was on top and he will hope the remaining session this weekend will be as easy for him.  

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