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Practice One - McLaren set the Monza standard 09 Sep 2011

Hamilton lays down the gauntlet, almost a second quicker than second-placed Button at the end of first practice Petrov falls foul of the speed bumps, having missed a corner Schumacher goes wide through the gravel, but returns to the track Kovalainen runs into mechanical problems and is forced to stop

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button dominated the first practice session under warm skies in Monza on Friday morning, but though there was 0.921s between the two McLarens, times further down the fields were incredibly close.

Hamilton was a class act all morning, quickly assuming an unassailable position and trimming his time right at the end to 1m 23.865s compared to Button’s 1m 24.786s. Sebastian Vettel got closest to them with 1m 25.231s, as Red Bull team mate Mark Webber took fourth in 1m 25.459s. But clearly different teams had different agendas this early in the game.

Adrian Sutil was fifth for Force India on 1m 26.550s, and it was behind the German that the field became really bunched. Vitaly Petrov was sixth for Renault with 1m 26.625s, then came the local heroes Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in the Ferraris on 1m 26.647s and 1m 26.676s respectively, Sergio Perez for Sauber on 1m 26.694s, Jaime Alguersuari for Toro Rosso on 1m 26.696s, Michael Schumacher in the leading Mercedes on 1m 26.699s, Nico Hulkenberg for Force India on 1m 26.826s, Rubens Barrichello in the lead Williams on 1m 26.836s and Kamui Kobayashi in the second Sauber on 1m 26.996s.

As if that wasn’t close enough, Pastor Maldonado lapped his Williams in 1m 27.365s, ahead of Bruno Senna in the second Renault on 1m 27.385s, Sebastien Buemi in the other Toro Rosso on 1m 27.433s and Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes on 1m 27.492s.

Heikki Kovalainen was 19th on 1m 29.539s before stopping with mechanical woes, while team mate for the morning Karun Chandhok lapped the second T128 in 1m 30.148s. The HRTs were next, with Daniel Ricciardo and Tonio Liuzzi proving virtually inseparable on 1m 30.609s and 1m 30.619s apiece. Timo Glock did only a handful of laps for 1m 31.052s, and on a troubled morning for Virgin his team mate Jerome D’Ambrosio was 24th on 1m 31.899s before some drive-train disasters befell him.

It was a relatively uneventful session, with Buemi and Chandhok spinning and Schumacher cruising through a gravel trap.

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