Free Practice 2
F1 2021
Round 2

An Interrupted Day Of Running At Imola For Honda Power

it Imola

Friday practice saw a Honda-powered driver finish in the top three of each session but it was an interrupted day of running at Imola.

An Interrupted Day Of Running At Imola For Honda Power

It was a particularly challenging Friday for Red Bull Racing, as both drivers saw their running cut short at different points in the day. First, Sergio was unfortunate to get caught up in light contact with Esteban Ocon that saw his left rear tyre deflate and damaged a wheel rim, causing him to spin and stop during FP1.

That incident was investigated by the stewards but in the end no further action was taken as both drivers admitted it was a misunderstanding that wasn’t helped by technical issues affecting communications for all ten teams up and down the pit lane.

Then in the afternoon session, Max looked set to go quickest overall on his second timed lap when he suffered a driveshaft failure after running over the kerb on the exit of the final corner. Max was forced to park his car just 10 minutes into the session and missed out on a significant chunk of running.

Max had been third quickest in FP1 - 0.058s away from first place - but was only 14th in the second session as a result, while Sergio followed a 16th place in the morning with sixth in the afternoon.

For Scuderia AlphaTauri, Pierre’s weekend got off to a strong start with fifth in FP1, as Yuki took his time to get up to speed after an off-track moment and was 20th. Both performed well in FP2, with Pierre up in third place and just 0.078s off the fastest time, and Yuki seventh just behind Sergio.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
In the first day of free practice for the Made in Italy e dell’ Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, we lost some track time with both teams, although Gasly ran trouble-free in both sessions and ended the day third quickest in FP2 with his Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team-mate, Tsunoda seventh. For Red Bull Racing Honda, Perez was sixth, despite losing time with a collision in FP1. Overall therefore, it was not too bad a start to the weekend. Unfortunately, Verstappen did just 5 laps this afternoon, before suffering a driveshaft failure. In FP1, we spotted something on the electrical data from Tsunoda’s car, so we checked the PU and chassis and opted to change some components. Nevertheless, we still gathered a respectable amount of data which we can now analyse as we work on optimising our PU for tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
I like Italy. The food is good and I enjoy being here but we don’t seem to have been that lucky with the driving here recently, so hopefully that will change. I had a driveshaft issue so we had to stop the car in FP2 and it wasn’t the easiest to get the car back to the pits so I couldn’t get back out on track. The car felt alright in FP1 and it is difficult to say how the second session would have been but we will still be able to look at the data and see what we can do better for tomorrow in terms of balance. Of course it would have been better to have the session but I don’t think missing running in FP2 is the end of the world as we know what we need to do tomorrow. We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we get the best out of our package.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I think this has been one of our best Fridays as a team, P4 this morning and P3 this afternoon, and I was so close to the top guys. I’ve felt good in the car since the first lap and I managed to push pretty hard, as well as drive the way I wanted, so I think it’s been a successful day. We focused on short runs initially with the Softs, which looked strong pace wise and then completed some high-fuel laps in preparation for the race on Sunday. We’ve continued to work hard to improve against our main rivals in the midfield and I think, so far, we’ve shown that the pace is good. We’ll analyse the data that we’ve collected again tonight and hopefully we can find a little bit more again in Qualifying tomorrow.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
It was definitely good to get a decent amount of laps in the second session today and to get a feel for the car on a different track. The track conditions are obviously very different here compared to Bahrain so I’m just learning how the car behaves on different tracks. We’ve learnt a lot today as a Team and for every lap I do, I learn a few tricks here and there. The race pace seems to be strong and the car felt good, hopefully we can pull it all together in qualifying tomorrow. With the incident this morning, we didn’t have radio so I think there was a miscommunication through there and I think it was just bad timing.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I didn’t manage to complete many laps during FP1, due to an issue, and only managed four push laps in total but the car felt good whilst I was out. The team fixed the issue during the break and I was able to build-up my pace in FP2 as I continued to push more – hopefully I’ll be able to improve again in tomorrow’s practice session ahead of Qualifying. I’ve completed a lot of laps here pre-season, but I think I still managed to gain a lot from the sessions today. I particularly learnt about tyre management around this circuit and have a lot of interesting data from the Softs that I can now go and analyse.

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