Hamilton powers ahead in Monza FP1

Mercedes driver tops first practice session for Italian GP ahead of Jenson Button and title rival Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheet in the opening practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver logging a lap 1:26.187 as the action got underway at Monza.

The Briton’s lap was 0.623s clear of McLaren’s Jenson Button. Hamilton’s title rival Nico Rosberg, whose second place ahead of his non-finishing Mercedes team-mate at the last round in Belgium handed him an 18-point championship, was today third quickest. The German recorded a time of 1:26.995, to finish eight tenths of a second off top spot.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso gave the team’s home fans something to cheer about with the morning’s fourth best time, although the Spaniard was almost a full second off the pace.

Alonso finished ahead of the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, while Sebastian Vettel managed to take Red Bull Racing to sixth place at a circuit where his team is widely expected to struggle for pace on this power hungry circuit. It was a different story for the defending champion’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, however, with the Australian finishing in 16th place following a power unit problem midway through the session.

Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest in the second Ferrari ahead of Sergio Perez's Force India. Perez only took part in the final hour of the session, with reserve driver Daniel Juncadella getting some running in the first 30 minutes of the 90-minute outing. The final top 10 places went to Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat in ninth and Nico Hulkenberg in 10th place.

Elsewhere, Williams had another quiet start to the weekend – something which is becoming characteristic of the team – with Valtteri Bottas 12th and Felipe Massa 13th.

2014 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Times1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.187 2 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.810 0.6233 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.995 0.8084 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27.169 0.9825 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:27.228 1.0416 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:27.271 1.0847 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:27.493 1.3068 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.687 1.5009 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:27.741 1.55410 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.112 1.92511 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:28.114 1.92712 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.148 1.96113 Felipe Massa Williams 1:28.150 1.96314 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:28.300 2.11315 Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1:28.429 2.24216 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:28.487 2.30017 Daniel Juncadella Force India 1:29.192 3.00518 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:29.512 3.32519 Max Chilton Marussia 1:30.017 3.83020 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:30.081 3.89421 Charles Pic Lotus 1:30.125 3.93822 Roberto Merhi Caterham 1:30.704 4.51723 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:30.948 4.761

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