George Russell posted the fastest lap in the final practice session this morning in the Mercedes with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in second and Charles Leclerc in third in the Ferrari.
This morning’s run was the last chance for teams to fine-tune their machinery ahead of the first Sprint of the season.
Although the results of the 100km run don’t affect tomorrow’s grid lineup, there are vital points up for grabs for the first eight across the line this afternoon at 15:30.
This morning saw even more challenges met by the Mercedes team straight out of the pits – yesterday they only managed to qualify in P13 (HAM) and P11 (RUS).
Minutes into Practice, Hamilton took to the radio and said: “I had a big drop in power just now.” Despite this, he held the early fastest lap in 1:21.880s on medium tyres.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo had a delayed start to the session as the team investigated an issue with Daniel’s car. They took to Twitter to inform fans:
The team are investigating an issue on Daniel's car which will delay his start to FP2. We hope to resolve the issue and get the car out before the end of the session.#ImolaGP 🇮🇹
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) April 23, 2022
Aside from Ricciardo, the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas was also being held in the garage after a technical issue saw Bottas stop out on track during qualifying, and the team took to social media with this update:
FP2 underway in Imola. Zhou lapping on track as the crew continue working on Valtteri’s car to get it ready for action. 🔧 #ImolaGP pic.twitter.com/zGw8taCsJa
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) April 23, 2022
Halfway through the session, Lando Norris joined his Aussie teammate in the pits with a brake issue. The team confirmed: “We’re investigating a brake system issue on Lando’s car which will require some time in the garage.
He had taken to the radio to say: “Something happened with the brake pedal into Turn 2. It happened again into the last corner.”
“We’re aiming to get back out before the end of the session.”
At this point out on track, Mercedes were showing promising pace even after earlier issues, with George Russell landing in the top spot with a 1:19.457s – now ahead of his teammate in third, with Perez in second in the Red Bull.
Later in the session, Charles Leclerc jumped to second and was 0.3s behind George Russell.
It’s also important to note that teams entered parc ferme after Qualifying yesterday. So, even though this was a practice session, there can be no further changes to the cars before the Sprint gets underway.
With five minutes left in the session, Lando Norris was back on track, but his teammate, Ricciardo had yet to leave the garage as the team continue to investigate issues.
George Russell remained at the top of the timesheet, while Sergio Perez moved back up to P2 with a time that was 0.1s slower than the Mercedes.
The final timesheets were as follows:
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