Tuscan Grand Prix: Friday Practice RecapSeptember 11, 2020
A summary of Friday's on-track action from Mugello, with Free Practice 1 and 2 for the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Tuscan Grand Prix – Friday September 11
Location: Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy
Layout: 5.245-kilometer (3.259-mile), 15-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Sunny
Drivers: Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen
Free Practice No. 1 Rundown
Grosjean: 12th overall (1:19.224) 25 laps completed
Magnussen: 17th overall (1:19.551), 25 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:17.879)
Most Laps: Alexander Albon of Red Bull Racing (34 laps)
Free Practice No. 2 Rundown
Magnussen: 19th overall (1:19.113), 32 laps completed
Grosjean: 20th overall (1:19.257), 5 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:16.989)
Most Laps: Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (39 laps)
The ninth round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello as teams prepared for Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix – the first ever Formula One race weekend to be hosted at the picturesque Italian facility.
Two 90-minute sessions played out in sunny and warm conditions at the sweeping 5.245-kilometer (3.259-mile), 15-turn circuit.
FP1 saw Grosjean and Magnussen sample different tire compounds to start the morning. Grosjean ran his installation lap and wake-up stint on the Pirelli P Zero White hard rubber. Magnussen opted for the Yellow medium compound for his install and baseline run. Both drivers switched onto a set of Red soft tires to conclude the morning plan – setting their fastest laps of the session in the process. Grosjean placed 12th with a lap of 1:19.224 and Magnussen 17th with a best effort of 1:19.551.
Grosjean started FP2 with a stint on the medium rubber but was curtailed just five laps into his run with an electronics issue on his VF-20. The Frenchman failed to return leaving him bottom of the timesheets with a 1:19.257. Magnussen ran the hard tires for a seven-lap run to start his afternoon before swapping onto softs for his qualifying simulation. Frustratingly for the Dane, an ill-timed red flag stoppage – the first of two in the session, limited his opportunity on fresh rubber to just three laps – his fastest lap of 1:19.113 placing him 19th overall. Magnussen concluded his day with a high-fuel, long-distance run.
Haas F1 Team ran a total of 87 laps Friday between the two sessions – 30 by Grosjean and 57 by Magnussen.
Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team
“I actually think we’re in a decent place, there’s potential in the car. We just need to work on three corners – turns one, 12 and 15, that’s where we weren’t so happy, but the rest of the lap was pretty good. It was the same with the only lap I did in the afternoon, it was fast. It’s obviously not ideal at a new circuit not to be able to do a long run or a quali sim though. I don’t have much information for tomorrow. The circuit is good, really good in fact. It’s very fast, flowing and for us as drivers, it’s a pure pleasure. From a racing aspect, it could be trickier, but for now we don’t care – we’re just going out there driving fast. I think we’re something like five seconds faster than the last time I drove here. Every kind of corner you’d like to have on a circuit – you have them here at Mugello.”
Kevin Magnussen, Driver No. 20, Haas F1 Team
“This is a really cool track. It’s extremely fast with lots of high-speed corners - it’s really a pleasure to drive this track. Obviously, looking at the lap times, it could have been a better day, but at least I enjoyed driving the track. We just didn’t seem to have great pace today. It’s pretty physical here, pretty tough on the neck with all the high-speed corners. They’re not totally straightforward so you can’t just rest your head on the side like a lot of other fast corners at other tracks. It’s going to be tough, but I’ll manage. It’s an old school track and that’s a positive. There’s no tarmac run-off anywhere, there are big consequences if you make a mistake. I think that adds to why this track is cool.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
“Our Friday started pretty well today. We did our program and we seemed to be in a better place than we’ve been on a Friday in the last two races – we seemed to be a little more competitive. Then in FP2 the gremlins struck again. We had to stop Romain’s car after he used his first set of tires because we had some issues with the electronics of the PU (Power Unit) – we couldn’t go out again. Kevin’s just trying to get a handle on going around here. I’m sure tomorrow it will be better. It’s a very fast track and he just needs to get the confidence and build on that one.”