Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc showed yet again more dominance as he finished top of the time sheet at Imola with teammate Carlos Sainz finishing second. Max Verstappen in the Red Bull finished a close third and Haas surprised fans with a 4th and 5th finish from Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, respectively.
Mercedes is obviously struggling to keep pace with issues they have been experiencing throughout the whole of the 2022 season so far, but George Russell is maintaining his lead over the 7-time world champion finishing 10th on the time sheet, eight places ahead of Hamilton.
Despite the negative news, Mercedes is optimistic that they have gathered enough data to hopefully squeeze more performance out of the cars as they head into the meat of the weekend. Mercedes says:
“Useful FP1 in challenging conditions, with plenty of data to delve into before Quali.”
After questions from fans, Mercedes revealed why Lewis Hamilton was seven seconds behind pace, with it simply being yet more bad luck for the Brit.
“He was on a lap on the Inters when the red flag came out, hence he didn’t get a lap in on that faster tyre at the end of the session.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) April 22, 2022
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finished a respectable 6th, but it is early days for the weekend which hosts he first spring race of the season.
Ferrari is obviously pushing into the weekend with a tail wind. Looks like Hamilton needs to spend some time with the Imola cat.