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Emilia-Romagna GP: Mercedes fastest as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull drops out in Practice Two

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time of Practice Two with Max Verstappen sidelined by technical issues; Pierre Gasly close third for AlphaTauri, with Ferrari also quick before late Charles Leclerc crash

Last Updated: 16/04/21 2:50pm

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen hit technical problems and missed the majority of second practice at Imola as Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two on the Emilia-Romagna GP timesheet.

Friday’s running continued to produce drama into the afternoon session, with Verstappen’s as-yet-unconfirmed issue the most significant of the opening day with the Dutchman restricted to just five laps in P2.

Ferrari showed promising pace in fourth and fifth but Charles Leclerc crashed on his final run of the day at the second Rivazza.

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It was an unfortunate end to Charles Leclerc’s session as the Ferrari driver hits the wall during Practice Two

It was an unfortunate end to Charles Leclerc’s session as the Ferrari driver hits the wall during Practice Two

Bottas, who claimed pole on F1’s last visit to Imola in November, pipped team-mate Hamilton to the fastest time of the session by 0.010s with a best lap of 1:15.551.

“So much better than Bahrain,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to Sky F1. “I’m really happy to see that.”

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F1 nose cam! Ride onboard around the Imola circuit with Valtteri Bottas during Practice Two ahead of the Emilia-Romagna GP

F1 nose cam! Ride onboard around the Imola circuit with Valtteri Bottas during Practice Two ahead of the Emilia-Romagna GP

Impressively, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly – who qualified fourth here five months ago – was also within a tenth of a second of the lead Mercedes.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, returned to the track and completed trouble-free sessions after their morning collision.

More to follow…



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