Valtteri Bottas topped the afternoon practice session in the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes continues to show the superiority of their W11 car.
After an intense 1st Practice session in the morning the drivers rolled out in the afternoon under clear skies and strong sun to gain experience on the Mugello circuit which is Ferrari owned.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean was the first to register a timed lap recording a time of 1m 19.257s but was quickly subdued by Mclaren’s Lando Norris with 1m 18.658s on the C2 medium compound tyres, however the Mclaren racer had experienced technical issues with his car on lap 5 which forced him to pit.
Ferrrari’s Charles Leclerc experinced a spin on his second lap which also forced him to pit although he had a chance to fight if he continued to race. His teammate Vettel on the other hand was complaining over the radio about tyre overheating and went further to say even a single cool-down lap was not enough between the timed laps as the tyres do not cool down enough.
Mercedes’ drivers were the last to head to the track in the afternoon session and it did not take long for the Mercedes W11 car to prove its dominance on the track as Valtteri Bottas topped with 1m 18.019s on the medium compound tyre as Hamilton in the sister W11 came in second, six tenths of a second slower on the hard compound tyre.
On their second timed laps, Bottas was able to achieve a time of 1m 17.997s which was an improvement as his teammate Hamilton was able to improve by four tenths of a second compared to his previous lap.
Sebastian Vettel was the first to complete the qualifying simulation as he did 1m 18.498s on his last timed lap which was over half a second slower than Bottas’ time that he had recorded earlier running on medium compound tyres. His teammate Leclerc didn’t do much well either on the soft tyres as he was only able to beat Vettel by only a tenth of a second.
Mclaren’s Lando Norris did not experience a good afternoon as he span and crashed into the wall on turn 3 after touching the gravel trap which saw him lose control of his car, the MCL 35 was on red walled soft compound tyres. The session ended up being red-flagged.
When the timed racing resumed Bottas improved to 1m 19.989s beating Hamilton with 0.207s while Redbull’s Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon finished third and fourth respectively having a gap of only seven tenths of a second.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen also span at the San Donato corner after he was tagged by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, after the mexican left the pit and was unable to slow down driving into the back of the Alfa, this made the session to be halted as the front wing of the RP20 was left on the track.