Leclerc Fastest In Front Of Tifosi At A Wet Monza in Free Practice 1

by Craig Edwards
Italian Grand Prix FP1

Charles Leclerc was quickest for Scuderia Ferrari in a rain interrupted Free Practice 1 ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

A wet Autodromo Nazionale Monza welcomed the drivers on Friday morning and it wasn’t till the final few minutes that the drivers were able to get on to the dry tyres and set competitive lap times.

Ferrari, at their home race will be pleased to see their driver top of the standings while the second car in Sebastian Vettel was eighth quickest.

The two McLaren F1 Team cars in Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris were second and third ahead of the championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Alexander Albon was fifth quickest with Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen behind him in sixth and seventh.

The second Mercedes AMG Motorsport of Valtteri Bottas was ninth with Pierre Gasly rounding out the top ten while Kimi Räikkönen and Sergio Pérez ended their sessions in the barriers following crashes in the wet.

Romain Grosjean was the first driver to head out onto the wet circuit following the rainfall in Italy on Friday morning and was joined on track by his Haas F1 Team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

Norris, sporting his new look helmet, was the first driver to set a competitive laptime.

A few drivers struggled in the wet with Vettel failing to make the first corner and having to use the escape road along with other including the Racing Point F1 Team of Lance Stroll.

The red flag was brought out after 27 minutes when the Alfa Romeo Racing of Räikkönen crashed out at the final corner as his rear end snapped on him as he tried to apply the power and the Finn could do nothing but slide through the gravel and into the wall.

Sainz had a lucky escape as he did a full 360 spin but was able to avoid the walls and kept his McLaren on track.

Verstappen was the next driver to fail to make turn one as he bounced over the kerbs before a second red flag was brought out as Pérez spun at the same place as Sainz but failed to keep the car out of the barrier.

The green light came back on at the end of the pitlane and the drivers got back on the track and the times began to fall as the track started to dry out but then the red flag would make its third appearance of the session after Gasly beached himself on top of the kerb at turn two. The Frenchman eventually got his Scuderia Toro Rosso going again and a couple of minutes later, the session got back underway for a fourth time.

Leclerc won his first race last weekend but he was not immune to a mistake as he was another driver that couldn’t slow down the corner for the first corner while Magnussen and Norris both took to the escape road and was followed by Vettel a few minutes later.

Antonio Giovinazzi was the next driver to fail to complete the first chicane properly as he spun on the exit of turn two. The two Mercedes finally came out on to the circuit but even championship leader Hamilton couldn’t slow his car down enough for turn one and also bumped over the kerb. Mercedes did go to the top of the timing sheets.

The final ten minutes saw the Ferrari’s head out on dry tyres and they were joined by the Toro Rosso’s, McLaren’s and Williams Racing cars before the finally couple of minutes saw the majority of the field head out on dry tyres and the times tumbled and the order changed but overall, it was a session where the teams didn’t learn too much and it could be a busy afternoon for the 20 drivers in Monza.

116Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1.27.905
255Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team+0.306
34Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+0.545
444Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport+0.825
523Alexander AlbonTHAAston Martin Red Bull Racing+1.120
626Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+2.055
733Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing+2.195
85Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari+2.602
977Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport+2.691
1010Pierre GaslyFRARed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+2.790
1199Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing+4.943
1218Lance StrollCANSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+6.071
133Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault F1 Team+6.623
1420Kevin MagnussenDENRich Energy Haas F1 Team+6.810
1527Nico HülkenbergGERRenault F1 Team+7.228
168Romain GrosjeanFRARich Energy Haas F1 Team+8.075
1788Robert KubicaPOLROKiT Williams Racing+9.911
1863George RussellGBRROKiT Williams Racing+10.5
1911Sergio PérezMEXSportPesa Racing Point F1 TeamNO TIME
207Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo RacingNO TIME

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