REPORT: Lewis Hamilton fastest in FP1 at Monza ahead of Sprint qualifying

10-09-2021 14:33
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REPORT: Lewis Hamilton fastest in FP1 at Monza ahead of Sprint qualifying

Lewis Hamilton sits in good stead ahead of the Sprint qualifying later today, as he finished on top in FP1. Monza saw high speeds as expected and the Mercedes driver finished ahead of Max Verstappen in second and, his teammate, Valtteri Bottas in third. The teams had to take advantage of the whole hour session this morning due to qualifying taking place later this evening.

Mercedes and Red Bull battling at the front

It was a constant battle at the top of the timings charts in FP1, as all four drivers from Mercedes and Red Bull sat atop at some point. Before the qualifying simulations, Sergio Perez had the pace to fight with Hamilton and Bottas, but when it came to the simulation runs, the Mexican was off the pace. He was only able to best a P10 finish, whilst the race favourites shared the top three. Hamilton was able to find the pace when it mattered and bettered Verstappen's qualifying simulation time, which put him on top. 

McLaren strongest before qualifying simulations

The McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were on top of FP1 before qualifying simulations took place at the end of the hour-long session. The Australian sat P1 and the young Brit sat in P3, with Pierre Gasly splitting the two, early in the session. It was Ricciardo who finished in the top 10 come to the end of the hour, however, as Norris was only able to best 12th place. When it came to teams running simulations at the end of the hour, Aston Martin and Ferrari had both their drivers in the top 10, with Gasly and Fernando Alonso joining to round off the top 10. Lance Stroll found himself in P4, Gasly in P5 and Sebastian Vettel in P6. Carlos Sainz then followed, with his compatriot Alonso in P9.

Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas all off the pace

All six drivers from Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas were once again unable to find any speed in the practice session. The rookie duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin finished in P20 and P19. It was then Nicholas Latifi, George Russell and Robert Kubicafinishing the session in 18th, 17th and 16th. Antonio Giovinazzi was able to find a bit more pace and finished in 13th.

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