Imola (AP) – World Cup Leader Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap in the only Formula 1 practice session before the Grand Prix in Imola. The British Mercedes driver relegated Red Bull driver Max Verstappen from the Netherlands to second place with 0.297 seconds.
Third was Valtteri Bottas from Finland in the second Silver Arrow. Due to the high level of stress in the Corona emergency season, Formula 1 had completely dropped the usual training rounds on Friday and allowed the teams only one 90-minute practice session before qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
In addition, the guest appearance at Bologna is made more difficult for drivers and race teams due to the lack of data from previous years. The racing series last ran in 2006 on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Of the current drivers, only the Finn Kimi Räikkönen has already taken part in Formula 1 races in Imola.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finished twelfth in training. Previously, the Hesse had canceled two fast laps because he was illegally off the track.
In the general World Cup standings, defending champion Hamilton is 77 points ahead of teammate Bottas for the 13th of the 17 races of the season on Sunday (1.10 p.m. / RTL and Sky). Mercedes can become constructors world champion for the seventh time in a row in Imola if the Red Bull duo Verstappen and Alexander Albon, contrary to expectations, do not score at least 34 points in the race.