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2010 Italian Grand Prix (Monza, Round 14, September 10th)

September 10, 2010

Monza track map. © FIA

Free Practice 1
A bright and sunny morning at Monza welcomed the final European weekend of the season – it also saw the introduction of updates on several cars, specifically for the fast Italian track.
McLaren brought two rear winds; one with large Spa-Francorchamps settings connecting to their F-Duct and another rear wing with smaller elements. The British team also installed a sturdier undertray to pass new FIA tests. Renault also delivered two types of rear wing as they continue to test their new F-Duct system. Most teams are, as expected, running smaller rear wing elements for pre straight-line speed.

Toro Rosso introduced the F-duct for the first time this season, but only ran it on Sebastien Buemi’s car – it would help the Swiss driver to the fastest speed through the speed trap (215 mph) and the 14th best time. It is unlikely that it will be raced.The first turn has been re-profiled slightly and now includes much higher kerbs, which caught a few drivers out during the session.
Rubens Barrichello wasn’t caught out by the kerbs, but was sidelined half way through first practice with an input-shaft failure, a problem that also affected the early session for both Lotus entries. A brake fluid leak had Bruno Senna’s Hispania parked for much of the opening practice – Senna eventually made it out, before pulling off circuit with yet another car-related problem.

Paul di Resta took to Adrian Sutil’s Force India during the morning session and eventually set the 12th best time in the presence of cousin and IndyCar runner, Dario Franchitti.
Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in early part of the session, but he was later displaced by the McLaren’s – first by Lewis Hamilton and later reigning Champion Jenson Button. The McLaren’s sandwiched Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull – the top three headed Robert Kubica (Renault), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Mark Webber (Red Bull), with Schumacher eventually coming away with the 10th fastest time.

Free Practice 2
Hamilton had the F-Duct removed and is going for a low-downforce, while Button held onto the high downforce settings – following a minor tweaks, Hamilton secured the 4th best time, just ahead of team mate Jenson Button. An hour into the session, Hamilton picked up damage to his right front wing end plate as the 2008 Champion hopped over a kerb, finishing his run early on.

Michael Schumacher found himself running quick early in the session – a little too quick perhaps; the 7-times World Champion was carrying far too much speed through the Parabolica, sliding into the gravel trap. Schumacher took a disappointing 14th fastest.
Felipe Massa ran wide at the Parabolica in far more dramatic fashion during a quick run – he was heading for the crash barrier, when a marvellous save by the Brazilian kept him out of harms way. Moments later, Alonso put in his fastest lap – good enough for 2nd on the sheets, while Massa (3rd) coasted the short distance to the pitlane.

Red Bull were not expected to run right at the top, but Vettel got in the way of that expectation by setting the fastest time of the day. Fellow Red Bull man Webber (6th) didn’t have as good a day as he pulled off the track at the first Lesmo with 20 minutes remaining – a loss of water pressure ending his Friday prematurely.
In the sister team, Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari also stopped out on track with a mechanical failure at a Variante della Roggia chicane. He claimed the 18th best time.
The Williams’ had a good afternoon run after morning difficulties with Barrichello leading Nico Hulkenberg in 7th and 9th places respectively, sandwiching Robert Kubica.

Bruno Senna had further problems with fuel pressure at the very beginning of the session – his car only got to the end of the pitlane exit, before grinding to a halt. The Brazilian rookie eventually got back out during the session, however his Hispania stopped with more problems after only a couple of laps. He took the Hispania out again a short while later, but the car broke again – Senna set no time.  Sakon Yamamoto in the second Hispania, had his running cut short by a gearbox problem – his was last in both sessions.

Italy, 2nd Free Practice (September 10th)
1  VETTEL        Red Bull      1m22.839s
2  ALONSO        Ferrari       1m22.915s
3  MASSA         Ferrari       1m23.061s
4  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m23.154s
5  BUTTON        McLaren       1m23.210s
6  WEBBER        Red Bull      1m23.415s
7  BARRICHELLO   McLaren       1m23.708s
8  KUBICA        Renault       1m23.709s
9  HULKENBERG    Williams      1m23.852s
10 ROSBERG       Mercedes      1m23.857s
11 SUTIL         Force India   1m24.181s
12 LIUZZI        Force India   1m24.380s
13 PETROV        Renault       1m24.407s
14 SCHUMACHER    Mercedes      1m24.448s
15 BUEMI         Toro Rosso    1m24.517s
16 DE LA ROSA    Sauber        1m24.547s
17 KOBAYASHI     Sauber        1m24.785s
18 ALGUERSUARI   Toro Rosso    1m25.106s
19 TRULLI        Lotus         1m26.204s
20 KOVALAINEN    Lotus         1m26.306s
21 DI GRASSI     Virgin        1m26.631s
22 GLOCK         Virgin        1m26.676s
23 YAMAMOTO      HRT           1m29.498s
24 SENNA         HRT           no time

Italy, 1st Free Practice (September 10th)
1  BUTTON        McLaren       1m23.693s
2  VETTEL        Red Bull      1m23.790s
3  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m23.967s
4  KUBICA        Renault       1m24.120s
5  ROSBERG       Mercedes      1m24.129s
6  WEBBER        Red Bull      1m24.446s
7  LIUZZI        Force India   1m24.512s
8  ALONSO        Ferrari       1m24.543s
9  MASSA         Ferrari       1m24.648s
10 SCHUMACHER    Mercedes      1m24.756s
11 HULKENBERG    Williams      1m24.841s
12 DI RESTA      Force India   1m24.923s
13 PETROV        Renault       1m25.292s
14 BUEMI         Toro Rosso    1m25.318s
15 DE LA ROSA    Sauber        1m25.320s
16 KOBAYASHI     Sauber        1m25.334s
17 ALGUERSUARI   Toro Rosso    1m25.897s
18 GLOCK         Virgin        1m26.772s
19 TRULLI        Lotus         1m26.898s
20 DI GRASSI     Virgin        1m26.956s
21 KOVALAINEN    Lotus         1m27.374s
22 SENNA         HRT           1m28.256s
23 BARRICHELLO   Williams      1m28.516s
24 YAMAMOTO      HRT           1m29.870s

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