Tuscan Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas has gone quickest for Mercedes in the opening practice session at Mugello in Italy.
Valtteri Bottas has finished as quickest man in opening practice at Mugello, on Formula 1’s first visit to the venue for a Grand Prix.
As can be expected, the session was used by the drivers and teams for acclimatisation and basic learning of the track, with times quickly coming down as the drivers got more comfortable with the layout.
Bottas ended up taking the top spot with a run on the Soft tyres to set a 1:17.879 to finish 0.047 clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Encouragingly for Ferrari, Charles Leclerc finished in P3 with a time just 0.3 slower than what Bottas had managed.
Lewis Hamilton finished in P4 in the second Mercedes, with Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly taking P5 with another strong display for Alpha Tauri.
Gasly was one of the early fastest times, before being pipped by Max Verstappen as the laptimes began to tumble.
Esteban Ocon finished in P6 with a strong start for Renault, while Daniil Kvyat finished in P7 for Alpha Tauri at the team’s second ‘home’ event of the season. Lando Norris finished P8 for McLaren, as the British team evaluated a new front wing design on Carlos Sainz’ car. The Spanish driver finished down in P15, having run his MCL35 with flow-viz paint spattered on the nose to help with comparison against Norris.
Alex Albon was P9 for Red Bull Racing, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top ten.
Kimi Raikkonen, whose F1 career turns 20 years old since his first test with the same team at the same venue this weekend, was P11 for Alfa Romeo, with Romain Grosjean down in P12. The Haas driver had a near-miss with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez at the first corner, taking to the radio to complain about it. He finished half a tenth clear of Sebastian Vettel, who is celebrating this weekend after signing a deal to move to Racing Point next season.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished in P14, Sainz P15, and George Russell in P16 for Williams. Kevin Magnussen was in P17 for Haas, while the Racing Points of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez finished P18 & P19. Nicholas Latifi was at the very bottom of the times in the second Williams.