Max third after Mugello FP2: 'Pretty pleased with first day'
Published on 11 September 2020 by Stefan Meens
After a second place in the opening practice session of the Tuscan Grand Prix, Max Verstappen clocked the third fastest lap in FP2. Mercedes was quickest on the first day of action at Mugello, with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
“We can be pretty pleased with how the car is behaving and I think it was a good first day at Mugello”, said Max. “We are not too far off Mercedes which is a good thing and also balance wise, there are always things that can be improved, but overall I was pretty pleased. This is a very cool track to drive in an F1 car with so many fast corners and to be able to take Arrabbiata 1 and 2 flat out easily is quite incredible and really enjoyable to drive.”
With its highspeed nature, Mugello poses some interesting challenges. “It is pretty physical and I felt alright today but of course 59 laps in a row in the heat is not going to be easy. I like a bit of a challenge and we shouldn’t complain as we train hard to sit in these cars and we should just enjoy it. In terms of tyres, I expected it to be worse so let’s see how they hold up over the rest of the weekend. The track is my type of track - really flowing with no slow corners, so I’m looking forward to doing more laps.”
Up until the 37-minute mark, FP2 is a straight forward affair with the teams working through their programs. Then, Lando Norris loses control as he drifts wide in turn three. His McLaren spins and crashes into the barrier, destroying the car’s front wing. Thankfully, Norris is unharmed but the session is red flagged.
With forty minutes left on the clock, and the track cleared, most drivers head out on the soft Pirelli tyres. Like in FP1, it’s the two Mercedes and Max that occupy the top spots on the timing sheets, with Bottas leading the way for most of the session.
A little later, Sergio Perez exits the pitlane at high speed and does not notice Kimi Raikkonen on the straight. The result is the Racing Point steers straight into the Alfa Romeo’s sidepod. Perez loses his front wing, whilst Raikkonen ends up in the gravel traps. Another red flag is needed to clear the debris safely.
In the closing ten minutes, the drivers are mainly working on their long run pace, resulting in no lap times being bettered.
|3||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:17.235||+0.246s||25|
|4||Alexander Albon||ALB||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:17.971||+0.982s||28|
|7||Sergio Perez||PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:18.198||+1.209s||34|
|8||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:18.244||+1.255s||30|
|9||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:18.385||+1.396s||38|
|11||Lance Stroll||STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:18.462||+1.473s||37|
|13||Carlos Sainz||SAI||McLaren Renault||1:18.651||+1.662s||32|
|14||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Renault||1:18.658||+1.669s||9|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||KVY||AlphaTauri Honda||1:18.736||+1.747s||33|
|16||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:18.843||+1.854s||33|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:18.944||+1.955s||35|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:18.983||+1.994s||31|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:19.113||+2.124s||32|
|20||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||1:19.257||+2.268s||5|