GP d’Italia, prove del venerdì–05/09/2014
Italian GP practice: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in FP2
Nico Rosberg topped Friday afternoon practice for the Italian Grand Prix, but Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton pushed him hard despite car problems.
Rosberg set the pace during the early stages of the session on the slower hard-compound Pirelli, shading Fernando Alonso by four thousandths of a second.
The Mercedes driver then switched to the medium Pirellis, improving his fastest time by just over half a second, setting a best of 1m26.225s.
While Rosberg was completing a normal programme, Hamilton spent the first hour of the session in the garage while the Mercedes team chased an electronic problem that prevented the car from firing up.
Hamilton then completed a brief three-lap run on the hard Pirellis before bolting on the faster mediums.
He managed to set a time just 61 thousandths of a second slower than Rosberg, posting the fastest time in the middle sector in the process.
With the tyre degradation mild, Hamilton was able to have another serious attempt at improving, but was unable to do so.
This relegated Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen to third, 0.106s off Rosberg.
The Finn out-paced team-mate Alonso, who might have set a better time but for a small error under braking.
Raikkonen, too, showed he potentially had even more pace, setting the fastest time of all in the first sector before an error meant he had no chance of improving on that lap.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest, just ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who lost time with a mistake in the Parabolica on his quickest lap.
McLaren pairing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were seventh and eighth fastest, the former setting an identical time to Vettel but being classified behind him as the reigning world champion set his lap first.
Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10, which was covered by just three quarters of a second.
Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg just missed out on the top 10, in 11th and 12th, ahead of the best of the Toro Rossos, driven by Daniil Kvyat.
The top 16 were covered by just 1.804s, with Esteban Gutierrez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Adrian Sutil all in that group.
That left a pack of six cars cast adrift at the back, with Jules Bianchi’s Marussia the quickest of those, 2.424s off the pace.
The group also included the Lotus-Renaults of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, the latter having missed the morning session to allow Charles Pic to take over and then having a wild trip through the gravel while on his first run on hards early in the session.
Caterham pairing Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were 21st and 22nd.
A number of drivers had off-track moments during the session and were forced to cut chicanes, with Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo and Button among those who did so.
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.762s||0.537s||27|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.992s||0.767s||37|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.079s||0.854s||42|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.227s||1.002s||39|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.476s||1.251s||37|
|15||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.929s||1.704s||33|
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Jenson Button in first practice
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in opening practice for Formula 1’s 2014 Italian Grand Prix at Monza by 0.623 seconds from McLaren’s Jenson Button, with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg third.
It was not a hotly contested session at the sharp end as the majority of the frontrunners swapped to race simulation runs after setting their quick laps.
As is usual in practice one, there was a brief flurry of activity towards the end of the first half hour while teams took advantage of the extra set of tyres they are permitted to use before handing back to Pirelli at the 30-minute mark.
Several drivers observed that the orange-striped hard-compound tyres were taking longer than expected to reach a working temperature.
Max Chilton was the first to benefit from the Parabolica’s controversially revised run-off area, running wide and brushing the astroturf 15 minutes into the session.
Kevin Magnussen and Button provided demonstrated that the MP4-29 is not lacking straightline speed, setting the early pace on the hard-compound tyres before being overhauled by the ‘works’ Mercedes.
Button then sliced three tenths of a second off his previous best during the course of his second run, but his tenure at the top of the timesheets lasted just eight minutes before Hamilton went top.
McLaren did not attempt to respond, switching Button on to a used set of tyres to complete his programme.
Fernando Alonso brought his Ferrari to within a second of the Mercedes with a late effort, lapping in 1m27.169s.
Kimi Raikkonen was nearly four tenths off, having flirted with the Parabolica run-off on his flying lap.
Sebastian Vettel was the fastest of the two Red Bulls in sixth, behind Magnussen, but Daniel Ricciardo completed just 12 laps and had to retire to his garage with a power unit issue with 30 minutes to go.
Both Williams were outside the top 10 in spite of being among the quickest through the speed trap, and Valtteri Bottas was noticeably on the edge of the FW36’s envelope in several places on the track.
There was disappointment, too for Lotus; it took most of the session for Pastor Maldonado to summon a lap clean enough to overhaul both Marussias.
A handful of teams ran test drivers in addition to or in place of their regulars: Daniel Juncadella sat in for Sergio Perez at Force India initially, Charles Pic for Romain Grosjean at Lotus, Giedo van der Garde for Adrian Sutil at Sauber, and Roberto Merhi for Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham.
Perez took over from Juncadella with 20 minutes to go and was straight on the pace on his first run, slotting into the top 10 and outpacing Nico Hulkenberg by nearly half a second. He was also fastest of all through the speed trap.
F1 debutant Merhi (pictured) completed 29 laps to Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson’s 16 and rounded out the session two tenths faster.
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.271s||1.084s||27|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.687s||1.500s||13|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.741s||1.554s||33|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.112s||1.925s||23|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.300s||2.113s||30|
|15||Giedo van der Garde||Sauber/Ferrari||1m28.429s||2.242s||19|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m28.487s||2.300s||12|
|17||Daniel Juncadella||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.192s||3.005s||10|