Leclerc tops opening practice on wet Monza track

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc bolted on a set of medium Pirellis on a drying track and turned the fastest lap in the waning moments of opening practice for the Italian GP.

In a session where times mean nothing unless it rains for qualifying and the race, Carlos Sainz Jr. was 2nd quick for McLaren ahead of the 2nd McLaren of Lando Norris who both went out on the soft tire late on to take advantage of the drier conditions for McLaren.

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas had a spin in the first chicane and was lucky to keep his car on track there at the end.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Alex Albon (Red Bull) rounded out the top-5.

Taking no chances, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was only eighth, behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen. The low-downforce set-ups didn’t help matters.

The first spin was Kimi Raikkonen, who beached his Alfa Romeo in the Parabolica gravel – giving fans at the outside of the corner a closer look at their special livery for the race – as he spun getting on the power. His session was ended without a time set, but teammate Antonio Giovinazzi managed the 11th-fastest lap.

Next to be eliminated was the leader of FP1 in 2018, Sergio Perez, who crashed his Racing Point at the exit of Ascari, damaging both wings and, he feared, his gearbox in the process. Pierre Gasly also triggered a stoppage, spinning at the same corner – and nearly collecting Albon in the process – but he managed to rescue his Toro Rosso from being stuck on the sausage curbs and ended the session in 10th.

Williams rounded out the order, 10 seconds off top spot as Robert Kubica finished 17th ahead of teammate George Russell in the inferior Paddy Lowe machines.

Practice 1 Times

1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.905 +0.000s 20
2 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:28.211 +0.306s 25
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:28.450 +0.545s 23
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.730 +0.825s 11
5 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing Honda 1:29.025 +1.120s 19
6 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:29.960 +2.055s 25
7 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:30.100 +2.195s 11
8 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.507 +2.602s 19
9 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:30.596 +2.691s 11
10 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:30.695 +2.790s 26
11 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:32.848 +4.943s 22
12 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Bwt Mercedes 1:33.976 +6.071s 9
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:34.528 +6.623s 10
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:34.715 +6.810s 7
15 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:35.133 +7.228s 10
16 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:35.980 +8.075s 7
17 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:37.816 +9.911s 12
18 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:38.421 +10.516s 12
19 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Bwt Mercedes No Time No Time 4
20 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari No Time No Time 4

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