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Practice One - Sutil top as heavy storms hit Monza 12 Sep 2008

The two Force India cars set the first lap times. Sutil following Fisichella The McLaren mechanics deal with a flooded garage Nakajima takes to the air over the gravel trap

Friday morning’s first session of practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza resembled the dark conditions that will prevail in Singapore’s night race.

After light rain early in the morning had left the track damp in places - and was then followed by intermittent showers - the heavens really opened after half an hour and brought the session to a virtual halt with another half hour remaining.

It was just as well that Bridgestone had earlier mounted more wet and extreme-wet tyres than they could ever remember having prepared.

Adrian Sutil timed his 1m 32.842s lap perfectly to head the session for Force India, ahead of Rubens Barrichello’s Honda on 1m 33.428s and team mate Giancarlo Fisichella’s 1m 33.695s.

Timo Glock lapped in 1m 36.800s later on for Toyota when conditions were worse, and headed Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m 36.900s), Renault’s Fernando Alonso (1m 36.965s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais (1m 37.142s), Toyota’s Jarno Trulli (1m 37.214s), Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m 37.392s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel (1m 37.754s), Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 38.057s), Red Bull’s David Coulthard (1m 38.303s), Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 39.062) and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa (1m 40.233s).

BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld, Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima, BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica, McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen, Red Bull’s Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton only did out laps, but even so Nakajima managed to spin his Williams at the second chicane. He was not alone, however, as Sutil, Vettel, Piquet, Fisichella, Glock and Barrichello all had off-course moments.

Tunnels and garages have been flooded, and electricity has failed in some areas, and a serious mopping-up operation is underway before this afternoon’s session.