Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Monza, 2019

Leclerc leads McLarens after three red flags in wet practice

2019 Italian Grand Prix first practice

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[gmsabu]Belgian Grand Prix winner Charles Leclerc denied McLaren a one-two in a rain-affected first practice session for the Italian Grand Prix.

The session began on a track which was wet enough for the first runners to use wet weather tyres, before switching to intermediates. However the conditions caught out several drivers and prompted some complaints about the tyres, notably from Max Verstappen, who described the lack of grip as “insane”.

Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to hit the barrier. His Alfa Romeo snapped sideways halfway around the Parabolica, and he struck the barrier rear-first. The red flags made their first appearance as Raikkonen climbed from his car.

Around the same time Raikkonen crashed Carlos Sainz Jnr had a 360-degree spin in his McLaren at the exit of Ascari, in full view of Nico Hulkenberg. Sainz managed not to hit anything and returned to the pits.

But soon after the session restarted Sergio Perez lost control of his Racing Point at the same spot and couldn’t keep it out of the barriers. The RP19 sustained front and rear damage in the crash. That brought the red flags out again.

Pierre Gasly proved the third stoppage of the session, but without hitting anything. Driver after driver had already run wide at the Rettifilio chicane, but Gasly managed to swap ends in his Toro Rosso and end up perched on the kerb at the inside of turn two. With limited room to manoeuvre as other cars picked their way around, he took a while to extract himself from the situation, and race control threw a red flag in the meantime. Toro Rosso told Gasly to switch his engine off at one point, but he persevered and brought his car back to the pits.

The track continued to dry during the second half of the session. Bottas set the benchmark intermediate time with a 1’30.596, but in the final minutes a few drivers decided to risk runs on slicks. The Mercedes pair headed the times at this point, but with Lewis Hamilton stuck behind Sebastian Vettel at the end of the session, and Bottas spinning at the Rettifilio, they slipped down the order.

A flurry of fast times from the slick-shod drivers changed the final running order. Daniil Kvyat briefly went quickest, then Sainz moved to the top. The McLaren driver then lowered his best time by more than a second while Lando Norris moved up into third, raising the prospect of a rare Mclaren one-two.

Those hopes were dashed by Leclerc, who after taking a while to bring his medium compound tyres in, produced the quickest time of the session with his last lap.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
116Charles LeclercFerrari1’27.90520
255Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’28.2110.30625
34Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’28.4500.54523
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’28.7300.82511
523Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’29.0251.12019
626Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’29.9602.05525
733Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’30.1002.19511
85Sebastian VettelFerrari1’30.5072.60219
977Valtteri BottasMercedes1’30.5962.69111
1010Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’30.6952.79026
1199Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’32.8484.94322
1218Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’33.9766.0719
133Daniel RicciardoRenault1’34.5286.62310
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’34.7156.8107
1527Nico HulkenbergRenault1’35.1337.22810
168Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’35.9808.0757
1788Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’37.8169.91112
1863George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’38.42110.51612
1911Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes
207Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari

First practice visual gaps

Charles Leclerc – 1’27.905

+0.306 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’28.211

+0.545 Lando Norris – 1’28.450

+0.825 Lewis Hamilton – 1’28.730

+1.120 Alexander Albon – 1’29.025

+2.055 Daniil Kvyat – 1’29.960

+2.195 Max Verstappen – 1’30.100

+2.602 Sebastian Vettel – 1’30.507

+2.691 Valtteri Bottas – 1’30.596

+2.790 Pierre Gasly – 1’30.695

+4.943 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’32.848

+6.071 Lance Stroll – 1’33.976

+6.623 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’34.528

+6.810 Kevin Magnussen – 1’34.715

+7.228 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’35.133

+8.075 Romain Grosjean – 1’35.980

+9.911 Robert Kubica – 1’37.816

+10.516 George Russell – 1’38.421

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2019 Italian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    7 comments on “Leclerc leads McLarens after three red flags in wet practice”

    1. How do you get these images so quickly from the photographers camera to my screen?
      The session just ended and here is the broken Racing Point.

      1. High end sports cameras from Nikon and Canon come with 1Gbps ethernet port so its not very difficult to get photos across the globe.

        1. Hahahaha, good one lol

    2. What’s the weather forecast for the second session?

      1. It should be dry with little to no rain.

    3. Driver and driver had already run wide at the Rettifilio chicane….

    Comments are closed.