September 6th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Lewis Hamilton emerged fastest after a close FP1 session at Monza this morning. Fernando Alonso was second for Ferrari ahead of Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes.
The track was typically a bit dusty at this early stage of the weekend. The cars were kicking up plumes of dust on the exit kerbs whenever they ran a little wide coming out of the corners. That should become less of a problem through the weekend, but for now it dirties the tyres a bit and compromises performance.
As usual, all of the drivers used only the prime tyre, which this weekend is the orange hard compound tyre, in FP1. Most of the setup work focused on aerodynamic balance between front and rear. As the track rubbers in. Today's sessions will also be important for choosing gear ratios for the rest of the weekend, as gearing is so important at Monza where lap time is largely determined by top speed.
Monza always sees the cars running in their lowest downforce configuration, which is evidenced by skinny, shallow rear wings and simplified front wings. The low drag setup results in very high top speeds, In FP1, James Calado - taking over Adrian Sutil's Force India for the session - was fastest in the speed trap at 339km/h. It is likely that several drivers will go faster than that this afternoon or tomorrow during qualifying.
There were no major incidents during the session. A few lock-ups under braking for the first and second chicanes occurred, and Pastor Maldonado ran through the gravel in the Ascari chicane, but that was the extent of the on-track errors. Nico Hulkenberg suffered a gearbox problem that left him stuck in third gear as he limped back to the pits. The team attmpted to solve his problem and sent him back out onto the track, but he found himself unable to select second gear while still in the pitlane and stopped before he rejoined the circuit.
Full results of FP1:
|4||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.753||0.188||26|
|8||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:26.103||0.538||27|
|15||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.594||1.029||13|
|17||15||James Calado||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.041||1.476||24|