F1 – Leclerc Quickest In Wet First Practice For Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc set the fastest lap of a rain-hit opening practice session for this weekend’s FIA Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, beating team-mate Carlos Sainz by almost nine tenths of a second, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas’s set the pace initially with a lap of 1:43.277. That was beaten by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen’s 1:42.539 but Bottas then moved ahead with a lap of 1:40.216.

The conditions were proving treacherous, though, and a number of drivers had off track moments in the early stages. Leclerc spin at the Variante Alta and McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine Esteban Ocon were caught out on the approach to Rivazza.

Verstappen took over in P1 after 10 minutes with a lap of 1:39.595 on his first run before

Leclerc jumped to P1 on a 1:39.325. Verstappen responded top lower the benchmark to 1:36.158 but as the 20-minute mark was reached Leclerc moved back to P1 with a 1:35.629. He then suffered another spin, this time in Acque Minerali. Sergio Pérez then moved ahead in the second Red Bull with a lap of 1:35.476.

A drier line was now beginning to appear and Carlos Sainz took top spot on intermediate tyres with a lap of 1:33.716 which he then improved by a tenth of a second. Leclerc also used the green-walled tyres to recapture P1 with a time of 1:32.512 but after getting a tow from his team-mate Sainz edged his way back to the top with a lap of 1:30.803. Finally, with just under 10 minutes remaining, Leclerc went back ahead with a lap of 1:29.402 which would stand as the session’s best lap. Verstappen was able to improve,. to 1:30.867 but that was 1.455s off Leclerc’s best effort.

Behind the Dutch driver Magnussen held on to fourth sport with a lap of 1:32.439, three seconds off Leclerc. Fifth place went to the Dane’s team-mate Mick Schumacher with Pérez sixth quickest. Fernando Alonso was seventh for Alpine ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda and Mercedes’ George Russell.

2022 FIA Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 24 1:29.402
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 25 1:30.279 0.877
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 21 1:30.867 1.465
4 Kevin Magnussen Haas 23 1:32.439 3.037
5 Mick Schumacher Haas 23 1:32.988 3.586
6 Sergio Perez Red Bull 17 1:33.012 3.610
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine 13 1:33.160 3.758
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 22 1:33.365 3.963
9 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 18 1:33.611 4.209
10 George Russell Mercedes 21 1:34.262 4.860
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 19 1:34.615 5.213
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 19 1:35.104 5.702
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 14 1:35.420 6.018
14 Lando Norris McLaren 12 1:35.502 6.100
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 15 1:35.625 6.223
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 23 1:36.033 6.631
17 Alex Albon Williams 17 1:36.461 7.059
18 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 17 1:36.464 7.062
19 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 22 1:37.450 8.048
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 15 1:39.698 10.296

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