Lewis Hamilton tops Italian Grand Prix FP1

Following FP1 for the Italian Grand Prix, Chris Soulsby looks at the session which saw Lewis Hamilton set the pace for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 1, 2017 in Monza, Italy.

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:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:21.537
  2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:21.972
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:22.652
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:22.689
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:22.742
  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:22.749
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:23.317
  8. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:23.400
  9. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:23.465
  10. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:23.561
  11. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:23.680
  12. Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:23.973
  13. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:23.991
  14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:24.012
  15. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:24.015
  16. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:24.079
  17. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:24.542
  18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:25.166
  19. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:25.223
  20. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:25.687

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