All it took was a single free practice for Lewis Hamilton to actually wear the favorite shirt this weekend of the Italian GP. This Friday (10), the seven-time champion was left in the only session before qualifying — which will define the starting grid of the sprint race, this Saturday. Lewis spiked 1min20s926 with Mercedes and, on medium tires, left rival Max Verstappen behind by 0s452 at Monza. Detail: the Dutch, championship leader with 3 points ahead of Hamilton, measured his best lap on soft tires. Valtteri Bottas was third, also with midfielders.
From fourth to seventh, all the drivers set their respective best times on the soft tires. Lance Stroll surprised and placed Aston Martin in fourth place, ahead of Pierre Gasly, great winner of last year’s Italian GP, with AlphaTauri. Sebastian Vettel, Stroll’s teammate, was sixth, followed by Carlos Sainz, with Ferrari racing at home in Monza.
Fernando Alonso, with a time exactly 1s slower compared to Hamilton, was eighth, while Daniel Ricciardo put McLaren in ninth and Sergio Pérez, who managed to lead for good minutes in training, was tenth with the second Red Bull car .
Formula 1 picks up speed again this Friday with the classification that will define the starting grid of the sprint race in Monza. The session is scheduled for soon, at 1:00 pm (Brasília, GMT-3). O BIG PRIZE follow everything LIVE and in REAL TIME.
Find out about free practice 1 of the F1 Italian GP
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The first activity of the Formula 1 weekend in Monza started with the prospect of being quite intense. That’s because the free practice 1 was the only opportunity for drivers and teams to assess the ideal setting before the qualifying session soon.
In the first few minutes, Lewis Hamilton, on medium tires, measured 1min23s634 and took the lead of the session, ahead of Sergio Pérez, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon. Following fast laps on the Italian track, ‘Czeco’ came to take the lead, showing good pace, but Hamilton soon made the change with 1min22s262, a time almost 1s faster than the Mexican.
The session only reached its ninth minute when Nikita Mazepin closed a co-worker again. The Russian barred the passage of Yuki Tsunoda, who was added to the list of harmed by the newcomer of Haas throughout the season.
Up front, Pérez had improved his time a little more and was 0s236 off Hamilton’s mark. Max Verstappen was third, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. But, among the top five, the Dutchman was the only one who accelerated on hard tires.
George Russell, who with 17 minutes of training was 17th on the timesheets, was the driver chosen by Formula 1 to accelerate with the camera attached to his helmet.
There were 38 minutes left in practice when Verstappen returned to the track, but this time on medium tyres. Pérez also returned with a new set of ‘yellow’ compounds. And the Mexican did well again and made a great comeback: 1min22s127, which earned him the provisional lead in the session. Max also improved, but continued in third, with a time 0.444 slower than his teammate.
The first drivers to leave the pits on soft tires were Haas’ Mazepin and Mick Schumacher. Still with the middleweights, Antonio Giovinazzi came back to surprise. Seventh on the grid at the Dutch GP, the Italian moved up to fourth place.
Charles Leclerc put Ferrari in second place in the session just 0.049 behind ‘Czech’ Pérez, but the Monegasque had his time deleted after exceeding the track limits of Curva Alboreto, the new name of Parabolica. Hamilton followed in second, while Pierre Gasly, winner of last year’s Italian GP, occupied third. All drivers continued to use medium tyres, with the exception of the Haas duo.
The session had a new leader with 25 minutes remaining. Daniel Ricciardo surprised and put McLaren in the lead by recording 1min22s003, 0s124 faster than Pérez. Hamilton occupied third place, followed by Leclerc and Gasly, while Verstappen was only seventh.
In unusual order on the timesheets, Gasly took second place from Pérez, recording a time 0s025 slower than Ricciardo’s: 1min22s028. Pérez still held third place, with Hamilton in fourth and Leclerc in fifth. That’s when more teams started using the soft tyres, starting with ‘Czech’ and Verstappen at Red Bull.
Pérez’s first lap with the softs was not good: the Mexican didn’t even manage to get close to Ricciardo’s mark. Bottas, with midfielders, turned 1min21s451, but was overtaken by Verstappen, who spiked 1min21s378 to take the provisional lead.
But Mercedes (read Hamilton) was left over. The seven-time champion turned 1min20s926, left Verstappen’s time behind by 0s452 and, with the midfielders, resumed the lead in training. Bottas closed the top-3.
When practice entered the final ten minutes, Fernando Alonso jumped from the last positions to fourth place on new medium tires with a time exactly 1s slower than Hamilton. However, the two-time world champion was beaten shortly thereafter by Lance Stroll, Gasly and Vettel, who were on track with the soft compounds.
There were still a few minutes left for the session to end. Enough for Lando Norris, in a fantastic season, to defeat Verstappen and score TL’s second time. But the Brit’s time was deleted by the race direction after Lando exceeded the track limits. Verstappen risked another fast lap on soft tyres, but traffic was too intense at the end of the session. But Hamilton confirmed the condition of best of the only free practice before qualifying soon after in Monza.
Formula 1 2021, Italian GP, Monza, free practice 1:
|two||M VERSTAPPEN||Red Bull Honda||1:21,378||+0.452||22|
|4||L STROLL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:21,676||+0.750||23|
|5||P GASLY||AlphaTauri Honda||1:21,719||+0.793||28|
|6||S VETTEL||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:21,824||+0.898||26|
|8||F ALONSO||Alpine Renault||1:21,926||+1,000||24|
|9||D RICCIARDO||McLaren Mercedes||1:22,003||+1,077||27|
|10||S PEREZ||Red Bull Honda||1:22,039||+1,113||23|
|13||THE GIOVINAZZI||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:22,270||+1,344||26|
|14||Y TSUNODA||AlphaTauri Honda||1:22,530||+1,604||31|
|15||AND OCON||Alpine Renault||1:22,534||+1,608||27|
|16||R KUBICA||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:23.009||+ 2,083||28|
|17||G RUSSELL||Williams Mercedes||1:23,092||+2,166||31|
|18||NO LATIFI||Williams Mercedes||1:23,442||+2,516||30|
|19||N MAZEPIN||Haas Ferrari||1:23,445||+2,519||23|
|20||M SCHUMACHER||Haas Ferrari||1:23,551||+2,625||23|