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Hamilton heads field in first practice at Monza

Sep 6, 2013, 5:46 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Previews Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has ended his run of poor performances during Friday’s practice sessions by finishing quickest in FP1 at Monza this morning.

The British driver posted a fastest time of 1:25.565 to finish just a fraction ahead of home favorite Fernando Alonso, with the Ferrari driver trailing by 0.035 seconds. Capping off a good morning for Mercedes was Nico Rosberg in third, who put in some good times on the hard tire late on to move ahead of two-time Italian GP winner Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull driver was forced to settle for fourth come the checkered flag.

McLaren showed signs of a resurgence by finishing in sixth and seventh with Sergio Perez leading Jenson Button, whilst Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez also impressed to end up ninth and eleventh respectively. Sauber have gambled on using the passive DRS device on their car this weekend, despite the low downforce nature of Monza appearing to eradicate any advantage that could be gained by using it.

James Calado, Heikki Kovalainen and Rodolfo Gonzalez all enjoyed run-outs as part of their reserve driver duties on Friday morning. Calado put in a very strong performance, finishing seventeenth and ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who suffered a gearbox failure late on. Kovalainen and Gonzalez could not match the pace of their colleagues, with the 1.6 second gap between Chilton and Gonzalez being cause for concern at Marussia.

The session ended with a strange incident for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso was attempting a practice start at the end of the pit-lane and teammate Felipe Massa looked to pass him with a few seconds remaining. However, the red light came on, thus closing the pit lane and forcing the Brazilian driver to hit the brakes and take evasive action. Although Alonso managed to continue, Massa was forced to leave his Ferrari at the end of the pit lane and walk back on foot.

Mercedes will be pleased to have begun the weekend in such impressive fashion, but with the soft tire running yet to take place, it is hard to tell just whether or not Hamilton will be able to secure his fifth consecutive pole position at Monza on Saturday.

  1. Stephanie Stevens - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Lets just pretend for pretending sake that the results from FP1 translate into the actual race results. What it would mean in this seasons title chase. lewis would pick up 13 points on Seb, Fernando would pick up 6, and Kimi would lose a further 2. Leaving Fernando ONLY 40 points behind and lewis ONLY 45, surely the hype of a renewed title showdown will resurface full bore under those conditions, however if something unforeseen transpires, you know like Seb podiuming and both lewis or Fernando not podiuming, well then things might, key word might take a slight turn but the hype, wishful thinking and hopes and dreams from the faithful will remain

    • indycarseries500 - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      We can only hope, but It won’t matter since the Asian swing coming up has traditionally been all Red Bull and Vettel.

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