Bottas Leads Mercedes Sweep

Valtteri Bottas topped Formula One observe on the Imola Circuit on Friday. (Sebastian Kawka/Mercedes photograph)

IMOLA, Italy – Valtteri Bottas led a Mercedes sweep of the 2 Friday observe periods forward of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

Bottas paced each FP1 and FP2, lapping faster than his seven-time Formula One champion teammate Lewis Hamilton and posting the quickest time of the day in FP2 at 1:15.551.

The Finn will look to face on the highest step of the rostrum for the primary time this season on Sunday come race time on the 3.050-mile, 19-turn circuit.

“The car is feeling much better than on the first day in Bahrain. As I said yesterday, it is a different track and type of circuit with different grip levels and surface,” Bottas tipped. The weekend has began in a constructive manner and I’m a lot happier with the steadiness of the automotive.

“While the car feels better, we still have the same type of issues as in Bahrain, just less so. It’s still not perfect, but we are only on event two out of 23 this season, so hopefully we have time to fix it. I feel like we’ve made steps forward, so that’s really good,” Bottas added. “The complete grid from midfield to the entrance appears to be like very shut. We didn’t see one of the best from Red Bull in the present day however we’ll see that in Q3 tomorrow. No doubt they will be quick.

“We still don’t think we are the fastest car and we really need to improve on that on Saturday.”

Bottas’ greatest lap got here on Pirelli’s medium compound tire, whereas Hamilton was .01 seconds slower regardless of being on the smooth compound tires that gave barely extra grip.

Hamilton was second-fastest in each observe periods Friday, along with his greatest lap of 1:15.561 coming in the course of the later session as properly.

The high 9 occasions on Friday had been all posted in second observe for F-1.

“The team worked very hard to understand what happened in the last race where we were weak and to see if we can try to tweak the car for a better set-up. I also think the track has come a little bit more in our direction,” famous Hamilton. “We began off with a very good set-up in the present day, a number of tweaks right here and there however no main points. So far, good tempo from us this weekend.

“We haven’t seen the best from the Red Bulls yet. It looks like they had messy sessions with traffic, but it will be interesting to see just how quick they are tomorrow. Positioning is important here – it’s hard to follow around this track – so nailing the set-up and maximizing Saturday is going to be so important.”

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was third for the day at 1:15.629, adopted by the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc’s mark got here regardless of a crash on the closing nook with three minutes to go in FP2 that left the Monegasque driver’s Ferrari entry broken on account of the shunt.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi slotted in sixth by way of ninth, respectively, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen tenth total after his lap time from FP1 earlier within the day.

Verstappen slowed to a crawl 10 minutes into FP2 after radioing that “something broke” aboard his Red Bull entry.

A digital security automotive interval adopted and Verstappen ended up 14th within the FP2 rundown.

Qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is slated for 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning.