December 6, 2016 Switch to Italian Version

Formula One: Lewis Hamilton fastest in Italian Friday practice sessions

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Lewis Hamilton has finished fastest in both Friday practice sessions for the 2015 Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The British driver beat team-mate Nico Rosberg on both occasions, with Rosberg closing to within just 2 hundredths of a second in practice two.

Lewis Hamilton kicked off the Italian Grand Prix weekend in style; and no I’m not talking about his new blonde hair. He set a blistering pace in first practice to top the session with a 1’24.670. Hamilton’s time was just under half a second faster than his team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2nd and a full 1.5 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel in the crowd-favorite Ferrari. Vettel suffered a small spin at the Rettifilio chicane during the session.

It was expected that one team that would have the potential to do very well this weekend would be Force India. The team are known to have great straight-line speed which would put them in good shape for the Monza circuit. Their speed put them into 4th and 5th in first practice, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez separated by just half a tenth. They were still 2 seconds off of Hamilton in 1st however.

Kimi Raikkonen followed the Force India drivers in 6th place in the second Ferrari, with Daniel Ricciardo 7th in the Red Bull. The Red Bull team look to be in for a dire weekend after confirming that both Ricciardo and Kvyat would be getting penalties for having new Renault engines fitted to their cars; a similar situation to that being faced by McLaren once again this weekend. The reason they are choosing this round in particular to take the penalty is that Red Bull and McLaren feel that they are already disadvantaged due to the nature of the Monza circuit.

Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who both re-signed for Williams for 2016 yesterday, were 8th and 9th in the session. Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10 in his Lotus. Jolyon Palmer was once again behind the wheel of second Lotus in the first practice session. The British driver finished up in 15th place after the 90 minute session with the second highest tally of laps at 28. He was only beaten by Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat who both completed 29 laps.

Palmer finished the session just ahead of 16 placed Carlos Sainz, who was the cause of the sessions’ only red flag after locking up his rear brakes and spinning into the gravel at the Parabolica.

Italian practice 1 results:

POS

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1’24.670

25

2

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1’25.133

22

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1’26.258

17

4

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India

1’26.612

19

5

Sergio Perez

Force India

1’26.730

29

6

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1’26.783

16

7

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1’26.922

27

8

Felipe Massa

Williams

1’26.936

22

9

Valtteri Bottas

Williams

1’27.075

25

10

Pastor Maldonado

Lotus

1’27.118

28

11

Felipe Nasr

Sauber

1’27.232

21

12

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull

1’27.275

29

13

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1’27.454

17

14

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso

1’27.591

27

15

Jolyon Palmer

Lotus

1’27.669

28

16

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

1’27.907

8

17

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1’28.023

11

18

Jenson Button

McLaren

1’28.423

12

19

Will Stevens

Manor

1’29.853

22

20

Roberto Merhi

Manor

1’29.911

12

Lewis Hamilton continued to hold onto the top of the time-sheets in practice 2, but Nico Rosberg closed right up to Hamilton to go just 0.021 slower.

Sebastian Vettel remained 3rd fastest ahead of the Force India team-mates in 4th and 5th; with Sergio Perez now leading Nico Hulkenberg. Completing the ‘deja-vu’ was Kimi Raikkonen, who held onto 6th fastest in the second Ferrari.

All 8 Mercedes powered cars were in the top 10, with 7th and 8th belonging to the Lotus team-mates Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, with 9th and 10th going to the Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

The direct contrast of the success of the Mercedes engine was the practically woeful Honda engines. The McLaren-Honda of Jenson Button finished the session 19th after completing just 3 laps after an ‘abnormality’ with his power-unit; with the team admitting today that they may not be competitive until the 2017 season.

The only car behind Button was the Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat, who spent most of the session in the garage with a gearbox problem. Similarly, team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ended the session 13th after suffering a hydraulic issue for most of the 90 minutes.

Italian practice 2 results:

POS

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1’24.279

27

2

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1’24.300

35

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1’25.038

36

4

Sergio Perez

Force India

1’25.278

34

5

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India

1’25.325

43

6

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1’25.380

39

7

Romain Grosjean

Lotus

1’25.497

41

8

Pastor Maldonado

Lotus

1’25.513

41

9

Valtteri Bottas

Williams

1’25.647

34

10

Felipe Massa

Williams

1’25.891

31

11

Felipe Nasr

Sauber

1’26.114

30

12

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1’26.133

32

13

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1’26.222

27

14

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso

1’26.454

38

15

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

1’26.641

50

16

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1’26.966

31

17

Will Stevens

Manor

1’28.201

29

18

Roberto Merhi

Manor

1’28.439

27

19

Jenson Button

McLaren

1’28.471

3

20

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull

1’28.723

28

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Jordan Groves
Jordan Groves
18 years old, UK. Formula One & Formula E Correspondent for RTR Sports. Fan of Formula One, Formula E, NASCAR, IndyCar, BTCC and many more! Follow me on Twitter: @jgroves1996

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