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.
|FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2017 – FREE PRACTICE 1 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Tyre||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:21.537||28|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:21.972||31|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:22.652||24|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:22.689||28|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:22.742||28|
|6.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:22.749||23|
|7.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:23.317||36|
|8.||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:23.400||34|
|9.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:23.465||24|
|10.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:23.561||37|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:23.680||22|
|12.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:23.973||22|
|13.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:23.991||30|
|14.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:24.012||27|
|15.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:24.015||17|
|16.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:24.079||22|
|17.||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:24.542||17|
|18.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:25.166||21|
|19.||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:25.223||26|
|20.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:25.687||17|
Image via LAT Images