Sergio Perez & Esteban Ocon Escape Penalty After FP1 Collision

Valtteri Bottas topped Free Practice One (FP1) at Imola, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Sergio Perez's Red Bull at Imola -

The stewards have decided not to penalise Sergio Perez or Esteban Ocon for the collision between the pair in Free Practice One (FP1) at Imola which ended both of their sessions and brought out the red flags.

The rear of Perez’s Red Bull made contact with the front of Ocon’s car at turn five and forced them to both stop on track with around 20 minutes of the session remaining.

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Perez was on a fast lap when the crash occurred, and the stewards decided that neither driver was clearly responsible for the incident.

“Ocon slowed before turn 5 in order to let Perez by, as well as moving entirely to the inside of the turn. Perez was on a fast lap. The two cars reached the apex at the same time, and just barely touched wheels,” the stewards said in their ruling.

READ: Perez Needs To Accept He’s Slower Than Verstappen To Succeed At Red Bull

 “In the end, both drivers agreed in the hearing that it was an unfortunate miscommunication of timing between them, not helped by the fact that both drivers had limited or no communications with their teams at the time. Both drivers agreed that neither was at fault,” they added.

Valtteri Bottas set the pace in FP1, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen was a close third, while Charles Leclerc was the highest-placed Ferrari in P4.

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Pierre Gasly managed a lap time good enough for fifth, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso in P6 and P7.

Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi and Daniel Ricciardo round out the top 10.

The session was also impacted by a second red flag late in the session, which was brought out  by Nikita Mazepin hitting a barrier, and this compromised many drivers’ final laps, so it’s difficult to take away much from the FP1 results.

READ: Alpine Keen To Avoid ‘Dangerous Games’ Between Alonso & Ocon