Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in Friday’s first practice session at the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix. He and teammate Valtteri Bottas were comfortably quickest at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with the two Ferraris trailing.

The early running on Pirelli’s Soft compound tyres saw Bottas edge his teammate, but the switch to Super Soft tyres – the soft compound on offer this weekend – saw the positions reversed with Hamilton progressively lowering his benchmark times.

The Silver Arrows were the only cars to lap under the 1m22s barrier. Hamilton finished almost half a second quicker than Bottas; the Englishman was over a second faster than the two Ferraris in the final reckoning. Current championship leader Sebastian Vettel was third-fastest, narrowly ahead of teammate Kimi Räikkönen.

The two SF70-H car were hotly pursued by Red Bull Racing. The two RB13s – running with minimal ground clearance to offset against the horsepower deficit of their Renault engines – lapped within one-tenth of a second of Vettel, with Daniel Ricciardo just 0.007 seconds quicker than teammate Max Verstappen.

There was a sizeable gap to the rest of the field, which was headed by the two Mercedes-powered Force Indias of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon.

Stoffel Vandoorne put his McLaren Honda inside the top-ten – a result the team is unlikely to repeat on merit this weekend – while Williams’ Felipe Massa completed the top ten.

Vandoorne’s teammate Fernando Alonso completed a partial program with Honda’s new ‘Spec 3.7’ power unit and finished fifteenth fastest before returning to his garage so his mechanics could swap him back to the previous specification. The Spaniard will incur a grid penalty this weekend, but potentially benefit from running the new motor at the following Grand Prix in Singapore where McLaren could perform well.

Despite a spin at the Parabolica, Carlos Sainz Jr finished eleventh-fastest in his Toro Rosso, ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll in the second Williams. Sainz’s under-pressure teammate Daniil Kvyat was fourteenth-quickest.

Behind Alonso came Romain Grosjean in the second Haas. The Frenchman finished ahead of the two Renaults of Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer, who appeared to be keeping the RS17’s potential pace under wraps for the moment.

As usual, the two Saubers brought up the rear. Pascal Wehrlein came close to overhauling Palmer on the timesheets, while his teammate Marcus Ericsson survived a wild moment at the Variante della Roggia

Despite the presence of dark clouds and a few spots of rain, the session was run entirely with dry-weather tyres as track temperatures remained warm throughout.

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

Driver Team / Entry Time Tyre Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:21.537 Pirelli Super Soft 28
2. Valtteri Bottas fi Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08 1:21.972 Pirelli Super Soft 31
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:22.652 Pirelli Super Soft 24
4. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF70H 1:22.689 Pirelli Super Soft 28
5. Daniel Ricciardo au Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:22.742 Pirelli Super Soft 28
6. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13 1:22.749 Pirelli Super Soft 23
7. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:23.317 Pirelli Super Soft 36
8. Esteban Ocon fr Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10 1:23.400 Pirelli Super Soft 34
9. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:23.465 Pirelli Super Soft 24
10. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:23.561 Pirelli Super Soft 37
11. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:23.680 Pirelli Super Soft 22
12. Kevin Magnussen dk Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:23.973 Pirelli Super Soft 22
13. Lance Stroll ca Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40 1:23.991 Pirelli Super Soft 30
14. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12 1:24.012 Pirelli Super Soft 27
15. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MCL32 1:24.015 Pirelli Super Soft 17
16. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17 1:24.079 Pirelli Super Soft 22
17. Nico Hulkenberg de Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:24.542 Pirelli Super Soft 17
18. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 1:25.166 Pirelli Super Soft 21
19. Pascal Wehrlein de Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:25.223 Pirelli Super Soft 26
20. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36 1:25.687 Pirelli Super Soft 17

Image via LAT Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.