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2013 Italian GP: First practice

2013-09-06 14:48

FASTEST IN MONZA: Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on a second Italian GP victory in a row as he sets the fastest time during the first practice session in Monza. Image: AFP

Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets during the first practice session ahead of the 2013 Italian grand prix.

MONZA, Italy - Although Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes on top of the Italian Grand Prix practice times it was Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who kept fans happy with the second-best lap only 0.035sec slower that the Mercedes ace.

Hamilton's team mate Nico Rosberg was third-fastest ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton, looking for his fifth pole position in a row, raced around Monza's classic 'Pista Magica' with a best time of 1min25.565.

Hamilton, who was booed by some of the passionate Ferrari 'tifosi' when he won for McLaren in 2012, said that he hoped they would be booing again if it meant a return to the top step of the podium on September 8 2013.


Alonso might have gone quicker than Hamilton had he not run wide, kicking up a cloud of dust, at the exit to the Parabolica corner.

A banner in the start/finish grandstand, written in large red letters and positioned next to a Ferrari flag, declared "Kimi in pole" in what looked like a throwback to 2007 when Raikkonen finished third at Monza for Ferrari

Raikkonen has a longer-wheelbase car for the race, the fastest on the calendar and capable of 340km/h but has played down his chances.


He said: "It will be very difficult. The low-downforce circuits are probably not the strongest for us. The 2012 race  was difficult and last year at Spa was quite tricky. It wasn't easy this year either."

McLaren was sixth and seventh-fastest with Sergio Perez and Jenson Button, who had a DRS problem with the rear wing, while Mark Webber was eighth for Red Bull in what will be his final F1 appearance in Europe.

His 2014 replacement, compatriot Daniel Ricciardo, was 13th.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa, whose race seat is once again in the spotlight with endless speculation about who might replace veteran, was a disappointing 14th.

Rookie James Calado made his grand prix debut at Monza. The newly-appointed Force India third driver took over Adrian Sutil's car for the first practice session. He completed 24 laps and was 17th fastest.

Caterham and Marussia also ran reserve drivers, with Heikki Kovalainen and Rodolfo Gonzalez racing in Monza.

First free practice session from the 2013 Formula 1 Italian GP at Autodromo di Monza

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min25.565
2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min25.600
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min25.704
4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min25.753
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min25.941
6. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1min26.007
7. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min26.035
8. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1min26.103
9. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min26.149
10. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min26.155
11. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min26.194
12. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min26.295
13. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min26.387
14. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min26.449
15. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min26.594
16. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min26.802
17. James Calado (Britain) Force India 1min27.041
18. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber 1min27
20. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min27.869
21. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min28.192
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez (Venezuela) Marussia 1min29.526

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Italian GP weekend.
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