Scroll downfor the latest news

Max fifth after Imola FP1

Published on 17 May 2024 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen opened his Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weekend with a fifth place in the first free practice session. Charles Leclerc lapped the famous Imola circuit quickest in his Ferrari. George Russell was second in the Mercedes, ahead of Leclerc’s Ferrari team mate Carlos Sainz.

After the torrential weather conditions led to the cancellation of the event in 2023, a year later Imola is basking in sunshine as Formula 1 returns to the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

The start of the session sees the usual flurry of action with most drivers heading out straight away. In the opening stages, Esteban Ocon informs his Alpine team that his car suffers bouncing on the long start/finish straight, whilst Yuki Tsunoda survives a quick trip through the gravel traps in his RB.

At the front, George Russell tops the timing sheets after the first fifteen minutes, followed by McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Hamilton. Max, who started his session on the soft Pirelli tyres, is in fourth.

Alex Albon, who recently extended his contract with Williams, did not enjoy his return to Northern Italy, with his FW46 grinding to a halt and causing a red flag. Although the session can be resumed quickly, the incident marks the end of Albon’s session.

In the second half of the hour long session, most teams switch to running on the soft tyres, resulting in the laptimes slowely dropping. With twenty minutes to go, Max is back in eighth with Leclerc, Russell and Sainz having clocked their best times of the session.

Max manages to improve his best effort to within three tenths of Leclerc, but has to settle for fifth. The reigning champion appears to not be best pleased with the balance of his RB20. He reports to the team he suffers no grip in turn 11 as well as going wide in the turn 14 chicane. To cap his session off, the Dutchman ploughs through the gravel in turn 11 on his final run.

Contest GP Imola: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!


Results first free practice Emilia-romagna:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:16.990 29
2George RussellRUSMercedes1:17.094+0.104s27
3Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:17.120+0.130s24
4Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:17.233+0.243s22
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:17.240+0.250s21
6Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:17.388+0.398s28
7Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:17.408+0.418s26
8Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:17.602+0.612s16
9Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:17.807+0.817s24
10Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:17.867+0.877s18
11Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:17.905+0.915s20
12Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:18.072+1.082s21
13Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:18.142+1.152s25
14Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:18.612+1.622s28
15Oliver BearmanBEAHaas Ferrari1:18.667+1.677s30
16Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:18.827+1.837s22
17Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:19.129+2.139s17
18Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:19.901+2.911s21
19Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:20.050+3.060s8
20Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:21.059+4.069s19