Charles Leclerc led the early timesheets this afternoon at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari with his teammate filing just behind him, .8s off the pace.
The drivers had just one hour today to get to grips with their setup ahead of Qualifying this afternoon as the Emilia Romagna GP plays host to the first Sprint of the season.
There was an added amount of pressure on the drivers today with the new 2022 cars facing their first genuine wet conditions.
It poured down for the duration of the session but things are due to improve as the day goes on.
Bottas was one of the first out on track this afternoon and looked to be struggling in the wet conditions, as his back end slid around at several points of his first lap.
Moments later, Charles Leclerc headed out on track and took a 360 spin – thankfully with no damage done. Nicholas Latifi’s Williams then headed into the gravel and was followed by an off-track moment for his teammate Alex Albon elsewhere on track as everyone struggled to control their machinery.
As expected this weekend, Verstappen and Leclerc were trading early fastest times at the top, with the Red Bull ahead by 1.9s with a lap in 1:37.247 with 46 minutes to go.
Although the weekend was only getting underway, things weren’t looking great for Mercedes early doors. George Russell was running 12th with 40 minutes remaining, just one place ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton – who was nearly 4s off Max Verstappen’s best lap.
The next driver to slip into the gravel was McLaren’s Lando Norris who opted to box with potential damage from the off-track moment – he reemerged on track after the swift pit check.
Meanwhile, Leclerc had put the challenge to Verstappen after topping the timesheets with a 1:35.629 to go 0.5s clear of the Dutchman. Moments later Carlos Sainz got ahead of Verstappen as well – and was within 0.1s of Leclerc.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez went quicker than the Ferraris to claim the temporary top spot as the rain continued to pour.
Kevin Magnussen then took a trip into the gravel in the Haas when trying out the intermediate Pirellis, however, he managed to keep his Haas going and returned to the track.
The Ferrari duo spent the latter half of the practice session trading the top spot on the timesheets while Max Verstappen sat in third as a red flag was summoned after Norris beached his McLaren – the British driver locked up at Acque Minerali.
The session resumed for a number of minutes before time ran out and the final times were as follows: