If you needed reminding of the difference between new and old circuits, Mugello is a perfect example of how a compact circuit can use the natural elevation contour of the land to create an outstanding race track. Much like Spa Francorchamps and many of the older circuits, F1 looks terrific on these courses.
Mercedes looked to be on top of the Free Practice sessions and the FIA had to issue a few edicts to control track limits at Mugello but in the end, the track looks terrific.
The Williams F1 team were first out on track and standing like owners who just bought something they know very little about, Matthew Savage and his law-tasing person, Stephanie Datillo, from Dorilton Capital lumbered at the back of the garage. To his credit, Nicholas Latifi has looked handy around Mugello.
Mercedes sent Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas out on the Soft compound as did Red Bull for their driver Max Verstappen. The track is an abrasive surface and Pirelli brought their hardest tires this weekend. Most of the teams were struggling with tire heat cycles all day Friday.
McLaren seem to be struggling this weekend to find the pace and take the fight to Racing Point. Bottas and Hamilton took top spot while Verstappen was third. The time? A 1:15.749s and a track record.
Ferrari’s blood-red cars celebrated the color of the original 1950 racing car (125S) but it did very little to help their performance as they could only manage 6th quickest for Charles Leclerc with Sebastian Vettel a full 1.5s off his pace.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were struggling as well down in 10th and 11th. They were behind the Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly and both Racing Point cars. Perez entire qualifying with a one-place grid penalty for clashing with Kimi Raikkonen during practice. Unfortunately, Gasly was eliminated while his teammate, Daniil Kvyat, moved into Q2.
Out in Q1- Magnussen, Russel, Latifi, Gasly, Giovinazzi
Ferrari’s on the Soft compound for their initial run as were the Mercedes. All four cars tiptoeing around the circuit on their out lap in order to save tires.
Lewis threw down a serious marker for Bottas with a 1:15.309s lap and Valtteri was unable to best that slotting into second. Max Verstappen was a little over a tenth off Lewis which bode well for Red Bull. Alex Albon was third but six tenths off Lewis.
Daniel Ricciardo jumped to 5th and radio that the lap left him out of breath due to the G forces. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc jumped to 7th but his teammate, Vettel, was down in 13th after their initial runs.
The real trouble was for McLaren with Carlos Sainz knocking his own teammate, Lando Norris, out of Q2. Lando was having a ragged weekend and this didn’t help matters. Kimi Raikkonen was out in Q2 but he did manage to beat Vettel in a Ferrari.
Out in Q2- Grosjean, Vettel, Raikkonen, Kvyat, Norris
Carlos Sainz was first on his hot lap followed by Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and then both Mercedes cars. Stroll pipped Sainz but both were eclipsed by Hamilton who took provisional pole followed by Bottas and Verstappen. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc split Sainz and Stroll in 7th and so did Ricciardo who moved into 5th.
Alex Albon was four tenths off Verstappen but it was enough for 4th quickest. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was the last on the initial runs and managed to jump up to 5th ahead of his teammate Stroll.
With 3 minutes left, the teams came out for their final runs. Lewis was leading the field and looking to protect his provisional pole.
Esteban Ocon stopped on track and it hampered Valtteri’s lap but it did allow Charles Leclerc to jump to 5th and that was a much needed result for Ferrari at their 1,000th race.
Lewis didn’t improve his time but it was enough to take pole over Bottas and Verstappen.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m15.144s|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||0.059s|
|3||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||0.365s|
|4||Alexander Albon||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||0.810s|
|5||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||1.126s|
|6||Lance Stroll||BWT Racing Point F1 Team||1.212s|
|7||Sergio Perez||BWT Racing Point F1 Team||1.167s|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault DP World F1 Team||1.399s|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team||2.726s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Renault DP World F1 Team||–|
|11||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team||1.496s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1.710s|
|13||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1.710s|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1.714s|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||2.110s|
|16||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1.981s|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||2.076s|
|18||George Russell||Williams Racing||2.088s|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing||2.176s|
|20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||2.204s|