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ITALIAN GP: FREE PRACTICE

An update from free practice at the Italian Grand Prix as the Bulls take to Monza.

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a lovely place to come racing. Set within Monza’s Royal Park, with the foothills of the Alps framed in the background at the end of the main straight, this is one of motorsport’s great locations.

But it was a rather damp start to this year's Italian Grand Prix with heavy rain ahead of Free Practice One resulting in a wet surface for the opening session of the weekend.

The tricky conditions caught out several drivers, most notably Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen and Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez who both spun off track and into the wall.

Both Bulls managed to make it through the first session unscathed despite the conditions. Alex completing 19 laps with a best time of 1:29.025 putting him P5. Meanwhile Max got through 11 laps with a best time of 1:30.100 finishing P7.

The track was dry for the start of Free Practice Two and there was plenty of high speed action during the first 30 minutes of the session. 

The rain was intermittent for the remainder of FP2 which kept all of the drivers on their toes. Max managed 29 laps with a best time of 1:21.350 for P5. Meanwhile Alex completed 30 laps with a best time of 1:21.589 for P6.

Saturday morning saw a completley dry Free Practice Three as the Bulls took to the track for the first session of the day. Max finished the session in P2 posting a 1:20.326 from 11 lapsAlex who set a 1:20.827 putting him P8 after 17 laps.

MAX VERSTAPPEN

First Practice Session: 1:30.100, Position: 7, Laps: 11

Second Practice Session: 1:21.350, Position: 5, Laps: 29

“It was a good day. Of course, the conditions were a bit tricky out there, but the car was working really well and we seem quite competitive on a track that doesn’t normally suit us. Around Monza, the real lap time is hard to see because of the tow but my fastest lap was done on my own and it felt good. I definitely think this new engine is a good step forward and you can feel the extra power which is positive. We know we won’t battle in qualifying as we will start at the back but looking at the long runs the pace was good and the car felt really nice to drive in all conditions which is always a big bonus. I would probably choose rain for Sunday starting at the back, as we will have a better chance of coming through the field, but even in the dry we can still be competitive and we will try to make a fun race out of it.” 

ALEX ALBON

First Practice Session: 1:29.025, Position: 5, Laps: 19 

Second Practice Session: 1:21.589, Position: 6, Laps: 30 

“There were a few crashes today as this track can be quite slippery when it’s raining, particularly with all the sap from the trees washing onto the track. We had mixed conditions, so we started out quite slowly but built up our confidence throughout the day. We are expecting similar conditions on Sunday so that is why everyone was out there trying to do some laps. I found the short runs were more positive than the long runs and, after today, I have a good idea about the things I need to change and work on for Sunday’s race. Of course, it’s not easy adjusting to less downforce, the braking feels different, but overall it didn’t feel too bad. I’m just finding my feet and that makes it important to get everything right. We will see what tomorrow brings but after today I’m feeling pretty good.”