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Verstappen red flags FP1, Bottas fronts Mercedes one-two, Vettel 19th

Verstappen red flags FP1, Bottas fronts Mercedes one-two, Vettel 19th

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Verstappen red flags FP1, Bottas fronts Mercedes one-two, Vettel 19th

Verstappen red flags FP1, Bottas fronts Mercedes one-two, Vettel 19th

Valtteri Bottas led another Mercedes one-two in a practice session in which Max Verstappen found himself in a gravel trap at Monza.

As was the case a week ago ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Bottas had the edge in FP1 ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

In the opening 90-minute session for the Italian Grand Prix, Bottas finished top of the timesheet again with a lap of one minute 20.703secs, finishing 0.245s ahead of Hamilton.

As for Verstappen, the Dutch driver brought out a rare red flag in practice this season after 35 minutes of the opening run.

The 22-year-old lost the rear of his Red Bull midway through the Ascari chicane, clipping a kerb en route that sent him into a gravel trap and into a barrier which wrenched off the front wing.

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Verstappen at least managed to keep the engine going, allowing him to expertly reverse his way out of his predicament and return to the garage where he was able to receive a new nose.

Come the conclusion, Verstappen finished fifth on the timesheet, 0.938s adrift of Bottas, with team-mate Alex Albon for once ahead of him by 0.141s.

The surprise package was AlphaTauri, with Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly sixth, the duo 0.852s and 0.964s down respectively, and with both on the medium-compound tyre compared to the soft runners around them.

In what was a relatively quiet session, under bright sunshine and clear blue skies, Racing Point's Sergio Perez was seventh quickest, just over a second off the pace, and followed closely by McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz who sandwiched Renault's Daniel Ricciardo.

On home soil, and on a power-heavy, low-downforce circuit that is not expected to suit Ferrari, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were again in the bottom half.

Leclerc was 11th quickest on the medium tyre, 1.201s back, with the medium-shod Vettel down in 19th, 2.285s adrift, with only Williams' Nicholas Latifi slower by 0.132s.

Even Williams reserve Roy Nissany, enjoying his second FP1 session this year, with George Russell giving his car on this occasion, was ahead of Vettel by 0.162s, and surprisingly on the hard tyre.

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Mon 30 Nov

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