The first practice session started from two angles with a new runway that crashed a bit this week at over 30 degrees. 55 degrees were measured on the slope on Friday. But Americans seem more interested in the show than what’s on the right track.
Did Ferrari cheat at Imola?
The fifth round of the World Championship is not only the focus of the title duel between Leclerc and Verstappen. The only two winners of the season are still clearly separated: Monegassi leads Ferrari with 86:59 against the Dutchman at Red Bull Honda.
Incidentally, Ferrari has a smaller (even) problem with the FIA. In Pirelli’s tire tests at Imola in the morning, the Reds tested two different types of bottom soil with Leclerc and then Sainz. According to Pirelli, this is forbidden because no changes can be made to the cars. Well, two teams documented the “scandal” with photos and protested to the World Federation. The sequel follows…
The man with seven world titles caused the biggest stir up front: Sir Lewis Hamilton (37). As it was announced, the eccentric Briton is locked in a showdown with the FIA. The Mercedes driver appeared at the media conference with more jewels than ever before. Four curb chains around the neck, three watches on the arm, a plastic bracelet on the left, three bracelets on the right, plus a loop on each finger!
Although the FIA has banned all body jewelry from Monaco, the 103-time race winner does not want to do without jewelry and piercings. “I wrote to FIA President Mohamed. But he did not reply. It is a shame, because there are more important topics to be discussed.”
Hamilton, hungry for a fight back: “If I want, I sign on the road at your own risk – and take responsibility for myself. And if necessary, Mercedes will have some drivers replaced!” Which sounds like a warning. Well, the FIA is threatening a fine of 50,000 euros in case of a violation. If it happens again, it is already 100,000 euros. Then the 250 thousand world championship points disappeared.
“Lewis’ criticism is just gossip.”
The fact that Hamilton is currently in crisis has taken all the toxic mist out of the holes. Now wise ex-pilot Martin Bundle has finally spoken a clear word on Sky. Some experts know Lewis is angry. That he had had enough and wanted to quit. I have seldom heard so much nonsense.”
One thing is clear: Hamilton will only regain full confidence in the Mercedes W13 when the “jumping” (jumping on the track) is gone. Until then, his new teammate George Russell will be standing in front of him – because he’s also risking a bad car. He gained experience there for three years at Williams.
Attention to cooling!
About 80,000 fans waited for a lot of excitement in the first 60 minutes in vain – despite some laps. The stars very cautiously “crawled” around the new track with plenty of bumps – and sweated like crazy. But of course cars have the most problems with heat. Anyone who underestimates cooling will soon turn up in the pits – like world champion Verstappen.
Hamilton wake up…
From the start we saw the same suspects up front – as we did everywhere in 2022 – Leclerc, Sainz, Norris, Perez and Verstappen. But then, unexpectedly, Hamilton (along with driver Williams Albon) advanced to the top of the standings. Yes, on a new path he goes through his endless experiment. So don’t write off the 2022 Hamilton yet!
13. Cho – 17. Bottas
Then 33 minutes later the first red flag. Bottas, eighth in the World Championships, lost control of the C42 and swerved into the tire wall—a dilapidated rear wing as a salute to the Hinwil mechanics.
Chu fought against his teammate Bottas for the last positions with Shumi and Latifi, who were still to no avail. Then the Chinese “exploded” and rushed to the midfield in the thirteenth place.
Results of the first free practice in Miami
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