Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) set the fastest time in the first free practice session of the Italian Grand Prix, ahead of the qualifying session scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The world champion beat Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes).
Third Grand Prix in three weeks for the paddock, and after the victories of Max Verstappen in Belgium (in the circumstances that have known…) and in the Netherlands, Lewis Hamilton hopes to regain control of Monza in Italy. This Friday afternoon was marked by the first free practice session, which will be followed at 6:00 p.m. by the qualifying session which will determine the starting grid for the sprint qualification on Saturday, which will determine the starting grid. of the Grand Prix, as happened at Silverstone in July. The world champion started his weekend well by setting the best time in free practice 1, with a time of 1’20 ″ 926 in one of his 28 laps, with medium tires. His rival Max Verstappen drove six laps less, on this track at 40 ° C (27 ° C in the air), and finished second, 452 thousandths behind the Briton, on soft tires.
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Ocon and Leclerc far in the standings
We find in third position the future-ex Mercedes driver Valterri Bottas, 525 thousandths behind his teammate, also with medium tires. Lance Stroll, on an Aston Martin paying homage to James Bond, follows in the standings, ahead of Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), the defending champion, who dreams of repeating his feat of 2020. Fernando Alonso, eighth, finished best Alpine driver, Esteban Ocon could not do better than 15th (the Frenchman was particularly hampered by Hamilton during one of his quick laps). Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), who led the timesheet with twenty minutes remaining, finally finished ninth in this session which went off without major incident, ahead of Sergio Perez (Red Bull), who was first in mid-session. Charles Leclerc, on his Ferrari, took only eleventh place, he who won at Monza two years ago. Now it’s time for a little rest before the qualifying session on Friday!