McLaren impress in Emilia Romagna final practice

Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso both crashed out of final practice as Oscar Piastri led Lando Norris in a McLaren one-two at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

First, Alonso, 42, lost control of his Aston Martin through the penultimate corner in Imola, spinning backwards and into the tyre barrier.

The double world champion sustained extensive to the rear of his Aston Martin with his mechanics now facing a race against time to fix his machine for qualifying which starts at 4pm local time (3pm BST).

Then, in the closing moments, Perez beached his Red Bull in the gravel after he got out out of shape on the entry to the Variante Alta chicane and hit the wall.

The one-hour session was suspended for eight minutes as Alonso’s stricken car was recovered, and then an additional four minutes to deal with Perez’s car.

And when practice resumed, it was Piastri who clocked the fastest time, finishing three tenths clear of Miami Grand Prix winner Norris to raise the prospect of a second McLaren victory in as many races.

At Ferrari’s home event, Carlos Sainz finished third, half-a-second back, one place clear of team-mate Charles Leclerc.

George Russell finished fifth for Mercedes with Max Verstappen, who did not post a time on the speediest soft tyres, sixth. Lewis Hamilton was 17th.

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