Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Perez ended up as the quickest in a wet running in the first practice session in 2018 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Heavy rain shower prior to the F1’s FP1 session at Monza forced the organisers to cancel the GP3 Series practice session. It seemed like the running will be limited for the teams but it wasn’t to be during the session.
Already a good five to seven minutes remaining to go green, cars of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Renault were ready to venture out on the full wet Pirelli tyres. Even with the wet circuit, most of the teams decided to run.
The drivers used both intermediate and wet tyres for most part of the session but with rain evading, dry lines started to appear by the end of the running. Numerous drivers changed hands at the top in the last few minutes.
Hartley (1m35.024s) went quickest at one point but was then beaten by Raikkonen (1m34.550s) but the top spot eventually went to Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Perez with a 1m34.000s on the final lap of the session.
Raikkonen was second with Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon (1m34.593s) in third from the Red Bull/Toro Rosso quartet of Hartley, Ricciardo (1m35.207s), Pierre Gasly (1m35.438s) and Max Verstappen (1m35.665s).
The Australian though had a scare at the start with a suspected power issue on his first lap itself but managed to work it through in the end, while the Dutchman survived an early half-spin in the right-hander.
The early runners Renault’s Carlos Sainz (1m35.995s) and Nico Hulkenberg (1m36.107s) finished eighth and ninth respectively. The Top 10 was then rounded out by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m36.238s) from teammate Lewis Hamilton (1m35.546s).
The two Mercedes drivers only did 14 laps in all while arch rival Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (1m37.867s) was also down to just the four laps in 17th after the team decided to change the gearbox in his car.
Sauber’s Charles Leclerc (1m36.648s) finished 12th from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m37.066s) with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (1m37.426s) in 13th followed by Haas’s Romain Grosjean (1m37.683s) and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson (1m37.790s).
Williams’ Sergey Sirokin (1m37.929s), Lance Stroll (1m1m38.253s) and McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m38.282s) completed the 20 runners with the British driver replacing Stoffel Vandoorne for this weekend’s FP1 run.