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Formula 1

What went on in first Italian GP F1 practice at Monza

by Josh Suttill
3 min read

Max Verstappen denied Carlos Sainz the top spot in the opening Formula 1 practice session at Ferrari’s home race, the Italian Grand Prix.

Key moments:

> Verstappen 0.046s faster than Sainz

> Perez and Leclerc third and fourth

> Both Alfas in strife

Monza is hosting the second weekend of F1’s ATA (alternative tyre allocation) experiment, meaning every team has two fewer sets of tyres this weekend.

Hard tyres were the tyre of choice for the frontrunners with 2023 dominator Verstappen, who is going in search of a record-breaking 10th consecutive grand prix victory this weekend, setting the pace on a 1m22.657s in his Red Bull RB19.

That was 0.046s quicker than Ferrari driver Sainz, who proved to be his closest competition. Perez was third-quickest in the second Red Bull, 0.177s adrift of Verstappen, with Leclerc just over three tenths off the pace in fourth place.

George Russell, fresh from being announced as staying at Mercedes until at least the end of 2025 along with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, was fifth quickest ahead of Fernando Alonso, who was the highest-placed driver to set his lap on the mediums.

Lando Norris used softs to put his McLaren seventh ahead of Hamilton (on mediums) and fellow soft-tyre runners Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon.

Oscar Piastri was 11th on softs ahead of the second Williams of Logan Sargeant and AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo stand-in Liam Lawson, who was 13th in the first session of his second weekend in F1.

Alfa Romeo suffered a tricky FP1 that started with both of its drivers stopping in the pitlane after both cars went into anti-stall.

They were wheeled back to the garage but the issues didn’t stop there as once the drivers went out, Zhou Guanyu reporting back to his team that he was “bottoming like crazy, guys, like crazy, it’s undrivable”, with Bottas making similar comments.

Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Italian GP Monza F1

The team, which along with Ferrari is running a special livery this weekend, made further changes to the cars and both drivers reported that the car was “much better” in the last 10 minutes of the session.

Bottas ended the session 15th, with Zhou 20th and slowest of all.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m22.657s
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m22.703s +0.046s
3 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m22.834s +0.177s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m22.966s +0.309s
5 George Russell Mercedes 1m23.189s +0.532s
6 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m23.214s +0.557s
7 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.241s +0.584s
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.269s +0.612s
9 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m23.271s +0.614s
10 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m23.444s +0.787s
11 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.446s +0.789s
12 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m23.661s +1.004s
13 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m23.833s +1.176s
14 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m23.931s +1.274s
15 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m23.952s +1.295s
16 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m24.067s +1.41s
17 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m24.09s +1.433s
18 Felipe Drugovich Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m24.14s +1.483s
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m24.217s +1.56s
20 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m24.232s +1.575s
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