Lewis Hamiton led the way in FP1 for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix as he lapped his Mercedes F1W04 in 1:25:565 round the Monza circuit, just under 0.1 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and a further tenth quicker than Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who trailed both Mercedes with Nico Rosberg in 3rd.
James Calado, Rodolfo Gonzalez and Heikki Kovalainen deputised for Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi and Giedo Van Der Garde respectively at Force India, Marussia and Caterham, while Romain Grosjean tackled his first experience of the track since 2009 at the wheel of the Lotus; he missed last year’s event after recieving a one-race ban for his part in the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix first corner pile-up. The Frenchman utilised his usual E21 while team mate Kimi Raikkonen evaluated a longer-wheelbase version of the car.
McLaren uncharacteristically made use of most of the track time available with Sergio Perez impressing, but Jenson Button hit problems as he was investigated by the FIA for improper use of his DRS – in the midst of celebrations of McLaren’s 50th anniversary weekend his mechanics found themselves wrestling to fix the troublesome device to get the Briton back on track before the end of the session.
He wasn’t the only one to encounter adversity as Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg lost his gearbox with just twenty minutes remaining on the clock.
Confusion engulfed Ferrari as the session ended with Alonso and Felipe Massa dispatched from the pitlane as the red light came on – Alonso had passed the exit line in order to perform a practice start, itself an offence under rules this weekend. Massa was forced to break to avoid hitting his team mate and the red light as it came on, leaving the bewildered Brazilian to abandon his F138 and walk back to the garage.
FP2 begins at 14:00 CET, or 13:00 GMT.
CLASSIFICATION – FP1 – ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
|15||Di Resta||Force India||1:26:594|