After last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Formula 1 headed to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, marking a back-to-back weekend. Due to the high speed nature of Monza, it is predicted that this weekend will be in the advantage of Mercedes and any of its customer teams as it has been in F1’s V6 Hybrid era. FP1 marked a session of acclimatization and setting up the car to find the perfect balance of top speed and downforce for the long straights and varying speed corners of Monza.
Lewis Hamilton tops Italian Grand Prix FP1
FP1 was a session of mixed conditions and was overcast throughout, with rain frequently disrupting running around the Temple of Speed. With 16 minutes to go, the FIA declared the track as wet which halted running temporarily.
Throughout the session it was clear that Mercedes has the pace at Monza, holding the first and second spots in the field from the green flag to the checkered flag. Lewis Hamilton set the pace for the Silver Arrows, setting a best time of a 1:21.537, 0.435 seconds faster than Valtteri Bottas.
It was the Ferrari drivers that finished the session with a 3-4, over one second down on its title rivals although it is expected that the Scuderia turned their engines down for FP1, meaning that more pace is still to come for the team’s home race.
Red Bull Racing emerged as the third fastest team, with Daniel Ricciardo ending the session in fifth and Max Verstappen sixth. Engine penalties for this weekend however, mean that both drivers will start Sunday’s race at the back of the grid. This means that this weekend could be a good one for Force India, who are currently the fourth best team on the grid. This weekend could be a perfect opportunity for the Silverstone-based team to cause an upset and score a potential podium.
Results from Practice 1 of the Italian Grand Prix:
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:21.537
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:21.972
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:22.652
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:22.689
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:22.742
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:22.749
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:23.317
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:23.400
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:23.465
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:23.561
- Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:23.680
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:23.973
- Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:23.991
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:24.012
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:24.015
- Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:24.079
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:24.542
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:25.166
- Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:25.223
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:25.687
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