Italian GP: FP1 ROKiT Williams is in for tough weekend.
By Andrew Hooper
September 6 2019
The opening Friday practice session for the 2019 Italian GP would see both ROKiT Williams drivers at the bottom of the times with a considerable margin to the cars in front. Robert Kubica would finish ahead of George Russell with the pair only completing timed runs on the intermediate tyre. Both would only complete a handful of laps but overall the session seemed to support George's view that this weekend is going to be a very difficult
Italian GP Friday 1st Practice
The opening Friday practice session would see rain falling with a mix of
intermediate and wet tyres been used. The first time was set by Norris with
a 1m:36.544 running on the intermediate tyre. Both Williams drivers had
complete installation laps on the wet tyre but would return on the
intermediate tyre. Hulkenberg and Ricciardo were now second and third
followed by Albon and Gasly all on the intermediate tyre. Kvyat would go
quickest with a 1m:35.814 while Gasly would move up to third. With Raikkonen
going off at the Parabolica the session would be red flagged. His car had
spun and hit the barrier.
The session would restart but the next person to have an issue was Perez as
he would spun at Ascari going into the barrier again seeing the session red
flagged. This was only two minutes after the previous red flag period.
Perez's car was quite badly damaged with both front and rear suspension
making impact. With the restart we would see Hulkenberg now quickest with a
1m:35.506 but Verstappen would move ahead with a 1m:35.397. Kvyat was now
third followed by Ricciardo, Sainz, Norris Gasly and Robert. George was
ninth as the session was again red flagged with Gasly spinning at the first
chicane. Kvyat was now second followed by Ricciardo, Norris, and Hulkenberg
as the track conditions improved.
The session restarted with only thirteen drivers having set a time. thirty
minutes remaining and more times were set as Leclerc went twelfth and Vettel
seventh. Kvyat was again fastest with a 1m:33.721. But Leclerc would move
ahead with a 1m:31.290 with Sainz now second. Hamilton would finally set a
time and would go second 0.5 behind Leclerc. The track was drying quickly as
Albon went fastest with a 1m:31.250. But Hamilton and Bottas would go first
and second with Hamilton setting a 1m:30.749. Bottas was able to go quickest
with a 1m:30.596. With under ten minutes remaining there was a lull on the
track but Leclerc would return running on the medium dry tyre most likely to
do some evaluation. Vettel was also back out on the medium tyre. Other
drivers would come out but on the soft tyre.
Both Mercedes were back out on the soft tyre as Norris moved up to third
running on the soft tyre. Kvyat was no w quickest with a 1m:29.960 also on
the soft tyre. But quickly Sainz would move ahead with a 1m:29.446. Leclerc
was now second followed by Kvyat. Leclerc was bale to go ahead of Sainz with
a 1m:21.905 followed by Sauinz, Norris, Hamilton, Albon, Kvyat, Verstappen,
Vettel, Bottas and Gasly. Of the top ten all were on the soft tyre except
the Ferrari's who were on the medium. As for Williams they would finish in
17th and 18th with Robert ahead of George. Both drivers would only complete
a small number of laps in a session that seemed to support that for the
Williams team it is going to be a very difficult weekend.
Robert would follow George also completing his installation lap on the full
wet followed by a two lap run on the intermediate. Robert would get out for
his first run on the intermediate tyre. Robert would set a 1m:38.943 to be
eighth. He would improve with a 1m:37.816 and would pit with another red
flag. He would drop to 15th with only three laps completed. With just a few
minutes remaining Robert would return again on the intermediate tyre. Robert
would also come in with the end of the session only completing three laps
and remaining ahead of his team-mate.
George would complete his installation lap on the full wet followed by a two
lap run on the intermediate tyre but he would not set a time. George had
returned to the track but his run would end with the second red flag. With
the restart George would return still on intermediates. He would set a
1m:38.421 to be ninth. He would pit and drop to 16th having completed three
laps. George would return still on the intermediate tyre. George would pit
without improving as the session ended.
Carlos Sainz Jr.||