FP1: Leclerc leads Sainz for Ferrari 1-2 in opening Monza practice
Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two in the first practice session of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, topping the timesheets ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes drivers.
Leclerc set the benchmark of 1m 22.410s, on the soft tyre, to lead Sainz by 0.077s – with George Russell rounding out the top three, just under three-tenths slower than the Monegasque.
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Lewis Hamilton – who is set for a back-of-grid penalty at Monza – was fourth quickest, a tenth behind his Silver Arrows team mate.
Max Verstappen was fifth fastest – although the Dutch racer was caught behind Lando Norris in the final sector on his flying lap. The Red Bull driver was however a second quicker than the rest of the field on the hard tyre.
FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2022
Practice 1 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:22.410|
|2 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.077s|
|3 George Russell RUS Mercedes||+0.279s|
|4 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.421s|
|5 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.430s|
Esteban Ocon was sixth quickest in the session, just ahead of Alpine team mate Fernando Alonso in P7.
Yuki Tsunoda and Valtteri Bottas finished eighth and ninth respectively for AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo, with both drivers also set to take grid penalties for Sunday's race. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10 for McLaren.
READ MORE: Why Ferrari and Monza’s stories are uniquely intertwined, as Leclerc and Sainz prepare for a critical weekend
Alex Albon was the 11th quickest driver – just a tenth of a second off the top10 – in the Williams ahead of Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu in P12.
AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly was called into the pit lane early in FP1 with a technical issue although he was able to return and finish 13th.
The other Red Bull of Sergio Perez had DRS issues and therefore finished 14th, just ahead of Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, with Lando Norris taking P16 for McLaren.
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The two Haas of Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovanazzi – who was filling in for Mick Schumacher – were 17th and 18th, respectively.
Nyck De Vries – subbing in for Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin – was seen running aero rakes for the first part of the session and later set a time good enough for 19th, just ahead of Williams' Nicholas Latifi in 20th.