Ferrari turned out to be the fastest during Friday’s practice sessions for the Italian GP at Monza. Charles Leclerc won the first practice session, and Carlos Sainz was fastest in the second session.
Today’s practice launched the final weekend of motor racing in Europe this season. Even before the practice sessions started, the Red Bull team was undoubtedly the favorite, but the Ferrari team was also very motivated. The Italian stable, which in recent weeks has mocked its chances in the world championship, has something to prove itself to the fans, and perhaps there is no better opportunity to do so than at home.
The first training session started as planned and was completely dry. Two teams decided to change the driver line-up. For this reason, Sebastian Vettel’s place in the Aston Martin car was taken by Nyck De Vries, and Mick Schumacher’s car was driven by Antonio Giovinazzi. In terms of sports, the start of the weekend was good for the Ferrari drivers. Charles Leclerc was fastest, just 0.077 seconds behind Carlos Sainz. However, not a single Red Bull driver made it into the top four. Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took 3-4 places. Just behind them was Max Verstappen. Alpine still showed a strong performance, with drivers taking two more places. The top ten also includes Yuki Tsunoda, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo, who emerged as exceptionally faster than Lando Norris. Sergio Perez looked awful. The Mexican was only 14th in the first practice session. The second Red Bull driver could not make a good lap and missed the first corner repeatedly.
During the second practice, the aura was still good for the drivers, and we can already see a full set of regular drivers on the track – Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel returned to their cars. However, the young German soon had the opportunity to lead Haas on the legendary Italian track. Engine trouble took him out of the practice session after just 30 minutes. Ferrari continued to have a good day. This time Carlos Sainz turned out to be the fastest, closely followed by Verstappen, who was returning to the top. Charles Leclerc was behind the Dutchman. Lando Norris was also back on track, this time taking a top 4. The next positions were taken by George Russell and Sergio Perez, who still had clear problems reaching the first corner. The next position went to Hamilton, who was ahead of two Alpine drivers – Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso. Alexander Albon took the top 10. Among the biggest losers, apart from Schumacher, were the drivers of Aston Martin and Nicholas Latifi, who were closing the field.
Many important things also happened off the track. An important part of the news was the failure of negotiations between Red Bull and Porsche. The Austrian team seemed to be sure of a close cooperation with the German manufacturer, but the two companies did not agree in the end.
There were also penalties for drivers for changing personal parts of the car. Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda and Valtteri Bottas replaced the internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-K and MGU-H systems in their cars. As a result of this change, all three will be moved to the end of the bet. The penalty will also be given to Carlos Sainz, whose car had engine and gearbox parts changed. Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez also switched to internal combustion engines. They will be moved initially with the 5th and 10th positions, respectively.
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