FP2 REPORT: Valtteri Bottas quickest in FP2 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

16-04-2021 14:38 | Updated: 16-04-2021 16:01
F1 News
FP2 REPORT: Valtteri Bottas quickest in FP2 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas was quickest once more at Imola, with the Finn topping the timesheet in FP2 just as he did in the morning session. Max Verstappen suffered car problems and was forced to park his Red Bull car at the side of the track and retire from the session, meaning he was only good enough for P14. Charles Leclerc's late crash brought out the red flag and the session was ended a few minutes early.

Mercedes dominate FP2

After topping the timesheet in FP1, with Bottas in P1 and Lewis Hamilton in P2, Toto Wolff's team have done it again in FP2 with the team looking back to their best, despite Red Bull's evident speed, and doing yet another one-two.

Bottas finished the second practice session quickest with his time of 1:15.551 slightly better than Lewis Hamilton's 1:15.561.

The question will be whether he can continue this form into qualifying and beat his seven-time world champion teammate tomorrow afternoon.

Bad Italian luck again for Verstappen

With three DNFs in Italy last season, and a failure to make the podium in Italy during his entire career it's fair to say the Max Verstappen has somewhat of an Italy curse. This continued in FP2 with the Dutchman suffering problems with his car and claiming "something broke in the rear" as he was forced to park his Red Bull car at the side of the track and abandon the session. With FP2 so vital as teams use the session to go race runs, Verstappen has lost out hugely, and it could cost him this weekend.

The exact issue has been determined as a drive shaft issue, and it's troubling for a Honda engine that has seen problems since Bahrain, with both Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez needing repairs after the opening race.

Ferrari look good

Just as they did in FP1, Ferrari looked very competitive and they have certainly made serious improvements this season. Carlos Sainz bettered Charles Leclerc in the session, with the Spaniard finishing in P4 with a time of 1:15.834 in comparison to Leclerc's P5 time of 1:16.371.

The team finished P6 in the Constructors' Championship last year, but so far they seem to have taken great strides forward and they look very handy this weekend.

However, Leclerc suffered a crash with five minutes left of FP2, after he suffered a snap of oversteer at turn 18 and lost the rear, hitting the barriers.

The session was suspended and not restarted after the crash. All in all, however, it was a very positive Friday for the Prancing Horses.

AlphaTauri rapid

Red Bull's sister team excelled in FP2, with Gasly setting a time of 1:15.834 to go third fastest in an incredible result for the Frenchman. Yuki Tsunoda didn't disappoint either, with the Japanese driver finishing the session in P7 after setting a time of 1:16.419.

The team competing in their home race look as though they could score some impressive points in their bid to mount a challenge for P3 in the Constructors' Championship.

Ricciardo down in P18

The Aussie driver had a lap time deleted due to exceeding track limits and was unable to better his time of 1:17.281 meaning he ended the session in 18th place. His McLaren teammate Lando Norris ended FP2 in P8. He set a time of 1:16.485.

Haas struggle again

After a poor opening round, Haas look like the slowest car on track once again in Imola. Mick Schumacher ended the session in P19 with a time of 1:17.350, and Nikita Mazepin finished in P20 with a time of 1:19.309.

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