2024 Emilia Romagna GP FP1: Leclerc Fastest After Incidents

Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets during the opening practice session of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend, leading the way from George Russell and Carlos Sainz in a busy hour on track.


By Ben Bush
Updated on May 23, 2024

Charles Leclerc Ferrari FP1 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc goes fastest for Ferrari in FP1 at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

There were a number of incidents during the first practice session of the weekend, with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton both experiencing some sketchy moments. Charles Leclerc finished fastest, followed by George Russell in second, Carlos Sainz in third, Sergio Perez in fourth, and Verstappen in fifth.

Following Sprint events in Miami and China, the traditional weekend format returned at Imola, allowing drivers to hit the track for the first of three practice sessions on Friday afternoon.

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It was a busy start to the hour as several cars emerged onto the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, with most teams – except RB – bringing upgrade packages for the seventh round of the season.

Among those early on track was Oliver Bearman, competing in the first of his six scheduled FP1 runs in 2024. The 19-year-old returned to action in Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, two months after his impressive substitute performance for Ferrari and Carlos Sainz in Saudi Arabia.

George Russell initially led the way, but the session was briefly halted 20 minutes in when Alex Albon, whose new multi-year contract extension with Williams was announced this week, pulled off track due to a mechanical issue.

After the action resumed, many drivers switched to the soft compound tyres for fast laps. Leclerc went quickest at the halfway point with a time of 1m 17.438s.

Several drivers experienced wide moments in the windy conditions, and Lewis Hamilton suffered a spin but managed to return to the track.

Leclerc finished the session on top with a lap of 1m 16.990s in the upgraded Ferrari. Russell followed in the Mercedes, 0.104s behind, with Sainz in third.

Sergio Perez was the lead Red Bull in P4, while Max Verstappen, who complained about a lack of grip and had multiple excursions across the grass in his final laps, went P5. RB’s Yuki Tsunoda followed in P6, ahead of Hamilton in P7 and Miami winner Lando Norris in P8 for McLaren.

Norris’s teammate Oscar Piastri slotted into P9, while Fernando Alonso completed the top 10, running a new-spec Aston Martin. Pierre Gasly was 11th quickest in the Alpine, leading Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in 12th and RB’s Daniel Ricciardo in 13th.

After reporting understeer issues during the session, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon claimed P14, while Bearman was P15 in the Haas. The Kick Sauber duo of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu followed in P16 and P17, respectively.

Logan Sargeant posted the 18th fastest time in the Williams, with Albon in 19th after being unable to return to action following his earlier stoppage. Nico Hulkenberg ended the session in 20th for Haas.

Emilia Romagna GP FP1 Results

2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix FP1, 17 May 2024

116Charles LeclercFerrari1:16.99029
263George RussellMercedes1:17.094+0.104s27
355Carlos SainzFerrari1:17.120+0.130s24
411Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:17.233+0.243s22
51Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:17.240+0.250s21
622Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:17.388+0.398s28
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:17.408+0.418s26
84Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:17.602+0.612s16
981Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:17.807+0.817s24
1014Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:17.867+0.877s18
1110Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:17.905+0.915s20
1218Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:18.072+1.082s21
133Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:18.142+1.152s25
1431Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:18.612+1.622s28
1550Oliver BearmanHaas Ferrari1:18.667+1.677s30
1677Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:18.827+1.837s22
1724Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:19.129+2.139s17
182Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:19.901+2.911s21
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:20.050+3.060s8
2027Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:21.059+4.069s19

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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