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Italian GP: FP1 ROKiT Williams is in for tough weekend.

By Andrew Hooper
September 6 2019

The opening Friday practice session for the 2019 Italian GP would see both ROKiT Williams drivers at the bottom of the times with a considerable margin to the cars in front. Robert Kubica would finish ahead of George Russell with the pair only completing timed runs on the intermediate tyre. Both would only complete a handful of laps but overall the session seemed to support George's view that this weekend is going to be a very difficult 

 ROKiT Williams Italian GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
The opening Friday practice session would see rain falling with a mix of intermediate and wet tyres been used. The first time was set by Norris with a 1m:36.544 running on the intermediate tyre. Both Williams drivers had complete installation laps on the wet tyre but would return on the intermediate tyre. Hulkenberg and Ricciardo were now second and third followed by Albon and Gasly all on the intermediate tyre. Kvyat would go quickest with a 1m:35.814 while Gasly would move up to third. With Raikkonen going off at the Parabolica the session would be red flagged. His car had spun and hit the barrier.

The session would restart but the next person to have an issue was Perez as he would spun at Ascari going into the barrier again seeing the session red flagged. This was only two minutes after the previous red flag period. Perez's car was quite badly damaged with both front and rear suspension making impact. With the restart we would see Hulkenberg now quickest with a 1m:35.506 but Verstappen would move ahead with a 1m:35.397. Kvyat was now third followed by Ricciardo, Sainz, Norris Gasly and Robert. George was ninth as the session was again red flagged with Gasly spinning at the first chicane. Kvyat was now second followed by Ricciardo, Norris, and Hulkenberg as the track conditions improved.

The session restarted with only thirteen drivers having set a time. thirty minutes remaining and more times were set as Leclerc went twelfth and Vettel seventh. Kvyat was again fastest with a 1m:33.721. But Leclerc would move ahead with a 1m:31.290 with Sainz now second. Hamilton would finally set a time and would go second 0.5 behind Leclerc. The track was drying quickly as Albon went fastest with a 1m:31.250. But Hamilton and Bottas would go first and second with Hamilton setting a 1m:30.749. Bottas was able to go quickest with a 1m:30.596. With under ten minutes remaining there was a lull on the track but Leclerc would return running on the medium dry tyre most likely to do some evaluation. Vettel was also back out on the medium tyre. Other drivers would come out but on the soft tyre.

Both Mercedes were back out on the soft tyre as Norris moved up to third running on the soft tyre. Kvyat was no w quickest with a 1m:29.960 also on the soft tyre. But quickly Sainz would move ahead with a 1m:29.446. Leclerc was now second followed by Kvyat. Leclerc was bale to go ahead of Sainz with a 1m:21.905 followed by Sauinz, Norris, Hamilton, Albon, Kvyat, Verstappen, Vettel, Bottas and Gasly. Of the top ten all were on the soft tyre except the Ferrari's who were on the medium. As for Williams they would finish in 17th and 18th with Robert ahead of George. Both drivers would only complete a small number of laps in a session that seemed to support that for the Williams team it is going to be a very difficult weekend.

Robert Kubica:
Robert would follow George also completing his installation lap on the full wet followed by a two lap run on the intermediate. Robert would get out for his first run on the intermediate tyre. Robert would set a 1m:38.943 to be eighth. He would improve with a 1m:37.816 and would pit with another red flag. He would drop to 15th with only three laps completed. With just a few minutes remaining Robert would return again on the intermediate tyre. Robert would also come in with the end of the session only completing three laps and remaining ahead of his team-mate.

George Russell:
George would complete his installation lap on the full wet followed by a two lap run on the intermediate tyre but he would not set a time. George had returned to the track but his run would end with the second red flag. With the restart George would return still on intermediates. He would set a 1m:38.421 to be ninth. He would pit and drop to 16th having completed three laps. George would return still on the intermediate tyre. George would pit without improving as the session ended.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m27.905s - 20
2 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m28.211s 0.306s 25
3 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m28.450s 0.545s 23
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m28.730s 0.825s 11
5 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m29.025s 1.120s 19
6 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m29.960s 2.055s 25
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m30.100s 2.195s 11
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m30.507s 2.602s 19
9 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m30.596s 2.691s 11
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1m30.695s 2.790s 26
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m32.848s 4.943s 22
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m33.976s 6.071s 9
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m34.528s 6.623s 10
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m34.715s 6.810s 7
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m35.133s 7.228s 10
16 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m35.980s 8.075s 7
17 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m37.816s 9.911s 12
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m38.421s 10.516s 12
19 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes - - 4
20 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari - - 4

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