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F1 @ Monza – Friday Recap

As engines thundered into life under the Italian sun, the pecking order was kept thoroughly intact during Friday practice at Monza.

Practice 1 saw Hamilton top the timesheets with a 1.24.670, leading the way from teammate Rosberg who put in a 1.25.133. Much of focus was on the new Mercedes engine, one which the team had spent all their remaining development tokens on, describing the move as “tactical” to allow more focused development for next season.

That statement alone should have worried the rest of the field. As usual, Vettel was the closest challenger to the Silver Arrows in P1, even after a brief spin at the first chicane. He clocked in at just over a second behind Rosberg. Third place is likely to be the most the ever faithful Tifosi will have to cheer about this weekend with Raikkonen clocking a 1.26.7, half a second slower than his teammate.

The full times from P1 are as follows.

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:24.670
  2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:25.133
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:26.258
  4. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:26.612
  5. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:26.730
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:26.783
  7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:26.922
  8. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:26.936
  9. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:27.075
  10. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1:27.118
  11. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:27.232
  12. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:27.275
  13. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:27.454
  14. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:27.591
  15. Jolyon Palmer, Lotus, 1:27.669
  16. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:27.907
  17. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:28.023
  18. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:28.423
  19. Will Stevens, Manor, 1:29.853
  20. Roberto Merhi, Manor, 1:29.911

Practice 2

The status quo remained the same during this afternoon’s P2, and you can bet good money it remaining the same through Saturday too. Hamilton led Rosberg and Vettel followed by the Force India pairing of Perez and Hulkenberg, who perhaps not surprisingly continued the trend of Mercedes powered cars dominating the top ten. All cars but the two Ferrari’s inside the top ten were powered by the German manufacturer.

With potential rain forecast for the weekend, Mercedes, who let’s face it, really haven’t looked the best under pressure this year may still have at least part of their work cut out, and the potential for Ferrari or Williams to spring a surprise. However with Both Red Bull’s experiencing a torrid day, and due to start from the back, barring any major dramas, on the back of today a Mercedes 1-2 looks highly likely.

The full times from P2 are as follows.

  1. L Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:24.279
  2. 2.N Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:24.300
  1. S Vettel, Ferrari, 1:25.038
  2. S Perez, Force India, 1:25.038
  3. N Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:25.325
  4. K Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:25.380
  5. R Grosjean, Lotus, 1:25.497
  6. P Maldonado, Lotus, 1:25.513
  7. V Bottas, Williams, 1:25.647
  8. F Massa, Williams, 1:25.891
  9. F Nasr, Sauber, 1:26.114
  10. M Ericsson, Sauber, 1:26.133
  11. D Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:26.222
  12. M Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:26.454
  13. C Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:26.641
  14. F Alonso, McLaren, 1:26.966
  15. W Stevens, Manor, 1:28.201
  16. R Merhi, Manor, 1:28.439
  17. J Button, McLaren, 1:28.471
  18. D Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:28.723

Predicted Starting Grid for Tomorrow (based on Friday’s practice positions and engine penalties)

  1. Hamilton
  2. Rosberg
  3. Vettel
  4. Perez
  5. Hulkenberg
  6. Raikkonen
  7. Grosjean
  8. Massa
  9. Bottas
  10. Maldonado
  11. Nasr
  12. Ericsson
  13. Verstappen
  14. Stevens
  15. Merhi
  16. Ricciardo
  17. Kyvat
  18. Sainz
  19. Button
  20. Alonso

We’ll be back tomorrow evening with the round up from Saturday at the 2015 Italian Grand Prix.

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