Practice got underway in Monza with the teams facing difficult decisions over how to set their cars up to get the most out of the Drag Reduction System.
By running with more downforce they can find more time in the corners and still be quick down the straights in qualifying thanks to DRS. But that could leave them vulnerable in the race, when the use of DRS is restricted.
Some cars had noticeably different rear wing angles, particularly the McLarens, who seemed to be running more rear wing than the likes of Red Bull.
Despite that, McLaren were slightly quicker through the speed trap than Red Bull.
Longest stint comparison
- All the teams ran medium tyres in first practice
- Monza is not an especially punishing track for tyres and tyre life seems good, with several drivers setting their best laps at the end of stints.
Ultimate lap times
An ultimate lap is a driver’s fastest three sector times combined.
- As usual, the HRTs and Virgins are hovering around the 107% mark. However Virgin had problems with both cars in this session.
Complete practice times
- Ferrari may be 2.7s off the pace but Fernando Alonso missed the last ten minutes of the session after a cut was found on his left-rear tyre.
- The fastest time, set by Lewis Hamilton, was almost two-tenths of a second of the best time seen in first practice last year. The track has been partly resurfaced.
- Despite their steeper rear wing angles, the McLarens were quicker than the Red Bulls in a straight line.
- Sebastian Vettel was the slowest through the speed trap, 19.5kph off the fastest. That’s far further behind than he was in the same session last year. Team mate Mark Webber’s speed looks more representative but is still in the bottom half.
- Both Ferraris are also well down the list.
- These could indicate a lack of straight-line speed but, this being first practice, it’s also possible they were running old engines and/or not using DRS.
- The highest speed, set by Vitaly Petrov, was 1.6kph slower than the highest seen last year, by Jaime Algeursuari in qualifying.
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