Bottas fastest in dramatic 1st practice at Emilia-Romagna GP

IMOLA, Italy (AP) — Valtteri Bottas posted the fastest time in a dramatic first practice for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix where the session was red-flagged twice on Friday.

Less than a tenth of a second separated the top three with Bottas .041 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and .058 clear of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

The session was stopped for the first time with about 22 minutes left after an incident between the Alpine of Esteban Ocon and the Red Bull of Sergio Perez heading into the Villeneuve chicane.

The rear left tire of Perez’s car was ripped off and the front of Ocon’s suffered heavy damage in the incident. The teams will need to work quickly to get them ready for the second practice session on Friday afternoon.

The red flags came out again shortly after the end of the session as Nikita Mazepin spun off and crashed into the barriers at the pit lane exit.

The Emilia-Romagna GP at Imola is the second race of the Formula One season. World champion Hamilton won the opener in Bahrain last month.


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