F1 2016 Italian Grand Prix: Hamilton fastest in Monza practice
PUBLISHED: 16:55 02 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:55 02 September 2016
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in practice at Monza on the first day of the 2016 Italian Grand Prix weekend.
It was a sizzling start for the Silver Arrows during a sweltering opening day in Monza.
Nico Rosberg topped the morning session in Italy with a lap of 1m 22.959s, with Hertfordshire-born Mercedes driver Hamilton in P2 with a best lap of 1m 23.162s.
Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton then set the fastest time of the day in the afternoon session.
He clocked 1m 22.801s after lunch with Rosberg second fastest for the Mercedes team.
Hamilton said: “It’s been a really good day.
“Monza is always an amazing track to drive and the fans always come out to show their support.
“We made good progress through our programme across the two sessions and our long run pace felt good.
“We split the tyre compounds between Nico and myself so we could learn as much as possible going into qualifying and the race and we’re looking quite strong.”
Hamilton added: “We’ve still got some work to do this evening to analyse all the data and prepare the car but I’m confident we can take the fight to the rest of the grid.”
Both Mercedes drivers ran the soft and super soft compound tyre in the morning session.
Hamilton ran the super soft and the soft compound tyres in the afternoon session while Rosberg ran the super soft and the medium.
Belgian GP winner Rosberg said: “The car felt pretty good during P1 but we need to work on the balance of the car overnight as the one lap pace didn’t feel 100 per cent during P2.
“We also need to analyse the data from running all three tyres across the two sessions.
“Still, it’s great to be back here at Monza, the Tifosi always come out in force to show their support and it’s great news that we’ll be coming back here for at least the next three years.”
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes’ executive director, said: “We ran a fairly normal programme apart from the insertion of the Pirelli test tyre at the start of P1.
“Otherwise, running soft and super soft during P1 and a split across the two drivers in P2.
“Doing this allowed us to collate data on all three compounds at low and high fuel.
“We didn’t encounter any problems with either car, but we’ll need to address the balance on both ahead of qualifying tomorrow.”
Qualifying at Monza takes place at 1pm BST on Saturday.
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