The Briton's best lap of 1:31.850 was set just before the field returned to the pits for fresh tires, claiming all three fastest sectors to blow away anyone else's chances of improving in the hot and sunny conditions at the famously fast circuit.
The session opened with Series returnee Filippi setting the early pace from Lotus GP pair Esteban Gutierrez and James Calado, but Chilton was soon taking the fight to the Italian: local knowledge helped to keep the battle going for a while (with Marcus Ericsson soon enmeshed in the fight too), but the Briton was clearly determined to take the honors, and soon owned P1 for the remainder of the session.
Few drivers improved in the second half of the session, with most teams concentrating on race set up and the F1 rubber on track becoming less effective over time, although most were still pushing: Calado pushed too hard at the Ascari complex and spun backwards into the wall at the exit, while Davide Valsecchi ran too deep at Variante della Roggia, and Rodolfo Gonzalez spun at the Parabolica as the clock wound down to zero.
Valsecchi and Ericsson led their rivals behind the top three, ahead of Giedo van der Garde, Gutierrez, Stefano Coletti, Nathanael Berthon and Luiz Razia, all of whom were within a second of Chilton's best time. The pace promises to be even more furious when qualifying opens in just a few hours time.
Monza – Free Practice
|3.||Luca Filippi||Scuderia Coloni||1:32.391||15|
|5.||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||1:32.410||13|
|6.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Racing||1:32.463||13|
|7.||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus GP||1:32.571||15|
|9.||Nathanael Berthon||Racing Engineering||1:32.830||14|
|10.||Luiz Razia||Arden International||1:32.834||14|
|12.||Julian Leal||Trident Racing||1:32.954||15|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Barwa Addax Team||1:32.961||14|
|14.||Fabio Onidi||Scuderia Coloni||1:32.982||15|
|15.||James Calado||Lotus GP||1:33.058||11|
|16.||Simon Trummer||Arden International||1:33.084||14|
|17.||Stephane Richelmi||Trident Racing||1:33.147||14|
|18.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:33.149||14|
|19||Sergio Canamasas||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:33.352||13|
|20.||Jolyon Palmer||iSport International||1:33.471||14|
|21.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Caterham Racing||1:33.677||10|
|23.||Nigel Melker||Ocean Racing Technology||1:33.780||12|
|24.||Victor Guerin||Ocean Racing Technology||1:33.940||14|
|25.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:33.977||15|
|26.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:34.518||12|