Photo: Red Bull Media House

F1: Verstappen and Sainz set the pace as Perez crashes

Practice one

Alfa Romeo had a bad start to the weekend as when both cars left the pitlane they were going into anti-stall every time both drivers pulled down the clutch. This was down to a software issue which the team fixed.

When both of the drivers finally made it out onto the circuit, they were upset with the setup of the car, especially Bottas:

“Something is wrong with the rear end in the medium and high speed. There is zero grip. It feels like something is stalling.”

The Alfa Romeo team brought both drivers in again to make some ride height and rear wing adjustments, with both Zhou and Bottas a lot happier after these changes were made.


20 minutes had passed before we saw the first of the Williams leave the pitlane, in the form of Logan Sargent, this was due to them saving tyres as the Alternative tyre altercation format returned this weekend.


This means that teams only have 11 sets of tyres instead of 13, which means teams are only able to use three sets of Hard tyres and four sets of Medium and Soft Tyres.


Williams going out a bit later may have not been ideal for Alex Albon who missed this race last season because of Appendicitis. Albon had a little excursion across the outside gravel at Ascari, as a result of being slightly off the racing line through that section of the circuit.


The only other notable off-track exertion was Esteban Ocon in the same section of the circuit running slightly across the outside kerb with a snap of oversteer, which saw him brush the gravel.


Max Verstappen ended this session, like most of them this season, top with a time of 1m:22.657s, which just beat out Carlos Sainz in second who was just +0.046s off Verstappen.


The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez was next with Charles Leclerc after him in fourth as Ferrari and Red Bull locked out the top four.


Fifth and rounding out the top five of hard tyre runners was George Russel who was followed by Fernando Alonso who was the fastest of medium tyre runners.



Lando Norris was seventh and the only Mclaren in the top ten as the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton finished the session alongside him in eighth.


Then it was a very impressive session for Alex Albon and Yuki Tsunoda with them both making up the top ten.




Practise Two


Lance Stoll will be massively behind when it comes to preparation for the weekend, after missing practice one, and then breaking down four minutes into practice two. The Canadians completely lost power entering turn eight, bringing the car to a halt on the inside of Ascari, which brought out the first red flag of the weekend.


Later in the session, Lewis Hamilton impeded Oscar Piastri while the Australian was on a flying lap. Hamilton was moving very slowly on the apex of turn four, as a rapid McLaren closed in, which left Piastri cutting across turn five to avoid rear-ending Hamilton.


Max Verstappen was left unhappy after he attempted a flying lap, as the Monza train of Grand Prix cars returned in the middle sector of the circuit, with Verstappen weaving his way past them all.


This led to the Dutchman feeling he had not got a grip on the pace of his car.


Then with just nine minutes to go in the session, Sergio Perez went off at turn 11, after he experienced understeer mid-corner, which left him running out of the circuit and skidding across the gravel into the barrier next to the exit of the oval.


Carlos Sainz ended the day fastest with a time of 1m:21.355s, which was only +0.019s faster than second-placed Lando Norris. Sergio Perez after going off led the Red Bulls in third with Oscar Piastri alongside him, as both were less than two-tenths behind Sainz.


Languishing down in fifth was Max Verstappen after he struggled to find space to set a competitive lap time, Charles Leclerc lined up sixth +0.624s off his team-mate in P1.


The highest of the medium runners Alex Albon was next in a decent session for Williams, with Fernando Alonso the single Aston Martin left in the session eighth.


George Russell was the only Mercedes to make the top ten in this session in ninth, with Nico Hulkenberg in the Haas rounding out the top ten.

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