There was a lot of drama and action on the opening day of training on the new track in Miami Street when Mercedes driver George Russell topped the schedule.
The young Englishman was ahead all day, the Mercedes driver was second in training 1 before reaching the standings in training 2.
Charles Leclerc was second in speed with just 0.106 seconds, as several rivals in the Ferrari Championship had problems.
His teammate Carlos Sainz locked the rear brakes and turned 14 in just 18 minutes of workout 2. In the crash, the Spaniard damaged the car, snatching the front left wheel, forcing him to sit out until the end of the session.
After winning the last race in Imola, reigning world champion Max Ferstappen did not pass the round in the second session.
The team decided to make precautionary changes to the gearbox just before fp2, forcing him to miss the first half of the session.
When the Dutchman went on the track, the driver of Red Bull Racing found the steering wheel incredibly heavy, he had a problem with the hydraulics, he limped back to the lane, but dropped out of the session.
Ferstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finished the day third in speed, 0.212 seconds from the time set by Russell.
Lewis Hamilton could not compare with his young teammate, he finished the fourth day with a lag of 0.241 seconds.
It looks like Mercedes has taken a step forward this weekend with a number of new upgrades, including a new low-impact rear fender, a revised front fender and fender beam.
Fernando Alonso, as always, pushed the boundaries, in his Alpine he closed the top five.
Next were Landa Norris of McLaren, Pierre Gasley, Zhou Guanyu, Esteban Okon and Kevin Magnussen of Haas.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished the day right after Science at 12th.
In Practice 1, despite a slight spin, Leclerc’s championship leader was the fastest. The positive day for Mercedes began with Russell setting the second fastest time in just 0.071 seconds from the pace.
Ferstappen finished the session third at a speed of 0.179 seconds, however Ferstappen also missed most of Workout 1 after touching the wall at the exit of turn 16.
AlphaTauri pilot Pierre Gasley closed the top five with Leclerc’s teammate Saints, who failed to get a soft tire on the board in practice 1.
He turned late at turn 4 and was lucky not to crash into any wall along the way. However, unfortunately, he got a puncture in the process thanks to a big lock in the turn 1.
Both Ferstappen and Sainz were far behind after Friday’s rally.
Seventh in speed for Williams was Albany, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who had to interrupt the run with soft tires when he was hit by a car.
Closing the top 10 are Kevin Magnussen and Ricciardo of Haas.
Although there were a few turns on the brand new track with 19 turns, especially on Practice 1, Walter Botas was caught the most turning back into the wall. The damage was significant enough for him to miss the entire workout 2.