Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in first practice ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix with the three-time champion finishing a second clear of championship leader Sebastian Vettel who finished third behind Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton set a best lap of 1:21.537s on the supersoft compound Pirelli tyres to finish 0.435 seconds ahead of Bottas, with Vettel 1.115s off the pace.
With the session starting under heavily overcast skies, drivers quickly set about their preparations and after half and hour Bottas was in charge on soft tyres, with the Finn in P1 with a time of 1:22.086s.
Mercedes then moved to supersoft running and Hamilton leapt ahead with a lap of 1:21868. Over the following laps he chipped away at the time to eventually settle on his benchmark of 1:121:537.
The rain that had been threatening all morning then arrived and running ceased. The shower eventually abated and there was a flurry of activity in the closing minutes, though there were no significant improvements.
Kimi Räikkönen finished just under four hundredths of a second behind Ferrari team-mate in fourth place. The two-by-two nature of the session was continued by Red Bull Racing, who saw Daniel Ricciardo finish fifth, just 0.007 ahead of sixth-place team-mate Max Verstappen.
Both drivers are set for a tricky weekend, however, as they have both opted to take power-unit related grid penalties in Monza, with a view to bringing an optimised package to the Singapore Grand Prix where the team has a better chance of posting a good result than in power-hungry Monza. Ricciardo is set to drop 20 places on Sunday’s grid and Verstappen 15 places.
Force India took seventh and eighth place with Sergio Pérez ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the ninth for McLaren, while team-mate Fernando Alonso finished in 15th place. Alonso took an engine upgrade in FP1 and therefore he will take a 35-place grid penalty on Sunday. Williams’ Felipe Massa completed the top 10. Carlos Sainz, in 11th place this morning, is also set to take a grid drop on Sunday, with the Toro Rosso driver incurring a 10-place power unit penalty.
2017 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 28 1:21.537
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 31 1:21.972 0.435
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 24 1:22.652 1.115
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 28 1:22.689 1.152
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 28 1:22.742 1.205
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 23 1:22.749 1.212
7 Sergio Perez Force India 36 1:23.317 1.780
8 Esteban Ocon Force India 34 1:23.400 1.863
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 24 1:23.465 1.928
10 Felipe Massa Williams 37 1:23.561 2.024
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 22 1:23.680 2.143
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 22 1:23.973 2.436
13 Lance Stroll Williams 30 1:23.991 2.454
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 27 1:24.012 2.475
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren 17 1:24.015 2.478
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 22 1:24.079 2.542
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 17 1:24.542 3.005
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 21 1:25.166 3.629
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 26 1:25.223 3.686
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 17 1:25.687 4.150