Oscar Piastri leads McLaren in Emilia Romagna Grand Prix final practice, Perez and Alonso crash

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Oscar Piastri of McLaren

18th May 2024 – (Imola) In the final practice session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Oscar Piastri of McLaren secured the top spot, leading his teammate Lando Norris in a McLaren one-two. However, the session was not without its share of incidents, as Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso both crashed separately.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc had been strong contenders throughout the session and appeared poised to top the timesheets until the final minutes. Ultimately, they settled for third and fourth place, respectively, after Leclerc had shown impressive pace in both of Friday’s sessions at the Imola circuit.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, the triple Formula One world champion and current overall leader, struggled to find his rhythm and finished in sixth place, behind Mercedes’ George Russell. Verstappen, who had a challenging Friday, did not complete a soft tyre run during the session.

Australian driver Oscar Piastri set the fastest lap time of one minute 15.529 seconds on a clear and sunny day at Ferrari’s home circuit. His teammate Norris followed closely, just 0.300 seconds behind.

With 35 minutes remaining in the session, Fernando Alonso brought out the red flags after losing control of his Aston Martin at the final Rivazza corner. Alonso exited the vehicle and returned to the paddock after receiving clearance from the medical center.

Sergio Perez also caused a temporary halt in the session when his Red Bull car made contact with the barriers at the Variante Alta chicane, resulting in more red flags with only five minutes remaining.

The session resumed with two minutes left on the clock, and drivers scrambled to complete their final flying laps. Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was forced onto the grass runoff to avoid a collision with Daniel Ricciardo of RB, while Leclerc made an aggressive move to overtake Sainz in an attempt to beat the clock.