Lewis Hamilton has topped the timetables in the first practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. His teammate Nico Rosberg was almost half a second adrift in second while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was a massive 1.5 seconds off Hamilton’s best time in third.

Hamilton was the early pace-setter posting a 1:26.305 which went unmatched in the first half of the session. The Mercedes outfit upgraded their engine since last round in Belgium, using their remaining seven development tokens to remarkable effect as they were 1.5 seconds clear from the rest of the field.

Rosberg was able to challenge Hamilton’s time, briefly demoting the Briton as he registered a 1:25.423, two-tenths faster than his Mercedes team-mate. It didn’t last long however, as Hamilton went three-tenths of a second quicker than Rosberg.

The first half an hour was relatively quite as teams experimented with flo-vis paint to retrieve airflow data.

Towards the end of the first half an hour where teams are allocated an extra set of tyres, Carlos Sainz brought out the red flag after he lost control of his Toro Rosso under braking and beached his car in the gravel at Parabolica.

The Spaniard was already having a difficult session due to a gearbox problem where he was having trouble shifting through gears.

It took a while before teams took to the track after the session went green again, with Daniel Ricciardo the sole driver initially taking to the circuit.

Force India then continued to post competitive lap times with Nico Hülkenberg finishing in fourth and Sergio Pérez one-tenth behind in fifth. Hülkenberg’s session was cut short due to a fuel leak inside his cockpit.

Kimi Räikkönen spent quite a bit of time sitting in the garage as did Vettel, he finished practice in sixth position ahead of Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

The Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were next in eighth and ninth position respectively, while Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top 10.

Jolyon Palmer was the only reserve driver in the field during FP1, taking over from Romain Grosjean for the eighth time this season. He finished in fifteenth place, sandwiched between the Toro Rosso pair of Max Verstappen and Sainz.

Friday’s second practice session at Monza begins at 14:00 local time.

Formula 1 Gran Premio D’Italia 2015 – Free Practice 1 Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:24.670 25
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:25.133 + 0.463 22
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:26.258 + 1.588 17
4. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:26.612 + 1.942 19
5. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:26.730 + 2.060 29
6. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:26.783 + 2.113 16
7. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:26.922 + 2.252 27
8. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:26.936 + 2.266 22
9. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:27.075 + 2.405 25
10. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:27.118 + 2.448 28
11. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:27.232 + 2.562 21
12. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:27.275 + 2.605 29
13. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:27.454 + 2.784 17
14. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:27.591 + 2.921 27
15. Jolyon Palmer uk Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:27.669 + 2.999 28
16. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:27.907 + 3.237 8
17. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:28.023 + 3.353 11
18. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:28.423 + 3.753 12
19. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:29.853 + 5.183 22
20. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:29.911 + 5.241 12

Image via XPB Images

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