Lewis Hamilton headed the opening free practice session at an overcast Monza this morning.
The Briton responded to made the best of the morning with a quickest tour at 1:26.187s – some eight-tenths faster than his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
McLaren’s Jenson Button split the two silver machines. He registered a quickest tour some two-tenths up on Rosberg, but still well adrift of the top-spot.
Such is Hamilton’s pace, the field will be hoping the former world champion set his time on low fuel; however it was not all clear sailing for the Mercedes man. The Briton had a brief lock-up into Ascari, as did teammate Rosberg, but was able to continue without any issues.
Despite this, Hamilton managed a healthy twenty-five laps, with Button and Rosberg completing twenty-seven and twenty-six without issue.
It was brief session for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who suffered a mechanical failure near the halfway point of the session, ensuring the Australian completed only twelve laps.
Kevin Magnussen touched the thirty-lap marker, but did lose a small chunk of time when his headrest came loose mid-run.
The Toro Rosso’s were the busiest of the day with Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Éric Vergne clocking up sixty-three laps between them.
Force India discovered the trouble with running two drivers in one car for FP1. Daniel Juncadella ran the first thirty minutes, before handing over to Sergio Perez for the final hour. It was a fruitless endeavor that only served to lose the Silverstone team plenty of time, as Perez’ engineers lost nearly a half-hour switching the seats, pedals and settings from Juncadella to Perez.
On the other hand, the money probably tasted good.