Charles Leclerc crashed out of second practice
at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola.
- "Are you... Are you OK?" - "Yeah. I'm OK.
Sorry guys! I was pushing quite a bit."
It was a very disappointing end
to what had been a strong, solid day for the Scuderia, with team-mate Carlos Sainz
fourth-fastest and the Monegasque just behind in fifth.
The session was red-flagged,
but the Silver Arrows had already shot to the top.
It was another Mercedes one-two,
completing a Brackley bonanza of a Friday, with Valtteri Bottas P1, just a hundredth
of a second quicker than seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
A technical malfunction curtailed Max Verstappen's session.
- "Err, something broke. - "OK."
- "I dunno." - "Box if you can."
- "Yeah, something snapped on the rear." - "Yup. Copy."
That spelt the end of the Dutchman's day.
Coupled with Sergio Perez's accident in first practice,
it all adds up to a disappointing Friday for Red Bull,
although the Mexican did bag the sixth-fastest time by close of play.
After FP1 Haas team principal Guenther Steiner
had declared Nikita Mazepin was "trying too hard",
the Russian off the track twice in the morning, the second time finding the wall.
His afternoon was less dramatic, but not without its problems.
- "Can you check the car because there's some strange noises happening?
I have not been off, but something strange is happening."
George Russell got a bit squirrelly exiting Turn 6,
and Fernando Alonso twice a winner at Imola had to bump and bounce his way through Tamburello,
which won't have done his floor or his spine much good.
Lando Norris found the stones at the same place,
the McLaren man missing his braking point and cutting across Turn 3s gravel trap.
So Mercedes with the top two slots once again
and Pierre Gasly a superb P3, just six one-hundredths behind Hamilton.
Sainz, Leclerc and Perez were some six-tenths further back,
ahead of Alphatauris Yuki Tsunoda, who continues to impress in his rookie season.
Norris P8, and Antonio Giovinazzi just behind in P9,
his lucky underwear seemingly serving him well today.
In Thursday's press conference, Mick Schumacher had revealed
that the Italian has some very personal superstitions.
Lance Stroll P10, five places higher than his Aston Martin team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Esteban Ocon 11th, Nicholas Latifi the best of the Williams in 12th,
ahead of Alonso, Verstappen, Vettel and Russell.
2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen 17th,
with Daniel Ricciardo, Schumacher and Mazepin rounding out the top 20.