Hamilton edges Alonso as Monza practice begins

2013 Italian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton was quickest as practice began for the Italian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver was fractionally faster than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Alonso was on course to beat Hamilton’s 1’25.565 when he lost time in the final sector and had to settle for second, 0.035s off the Mercedes. Hamilton also came close to beating his own mark but couldn’t repeat his sector three time.

Nico Rosberg underlined Mercedes’ potential with the third-fastest time, followed by Sebastian Vettel.

Lotus brought a longer version of the E21 which Kimi Raikkonen ran and set fifth-fastest time with. Team mate Romain Grosjean in the conventional car was four-tenths of a second slower in 12th.

The McLaren drivers were sixth and seventh ahead of Mark Webber. Early in the session Jenson Button’s DRS remained activated at a part of the circuit where is was supposed to disengage, which the stewards are investigating.

Pastor Maldonado was an encouraging ninth for Williams, despite losing the rear of his car at Ascari, and reported the car was performing better in low-speed corners. Jean-Eric Vergne completed the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg’s session was interrupted by a gearbox problem. He was able to make it back to the pits but when the team sent him out again the problem recurred and he was pulled back into his box.

In his first F1 practice session appearance James Calado was 17th for Force India, half a second slower than team mate Paul di Resta.

As the session came to an end both Ferrari drivers headed to the end of the pit lane to perform practice starts. Alonso got there in time but the pit exit lights turned red as Felipe Massa arrived and he locked his brakes as he brought the car to a stop. While Alonso performed his practice start, Ferrari mechanics arrived to push him back to the garage.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
110Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’25.56524
23Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’25.6000.03525
39Nico RosbergMercedes1’25.7040.13925
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’25.7530.18826
57Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’25.9410.37622
66Sergio PerezMcLaren1’26.0070.44224
75Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’26.0350.47023
82Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.1030.53827
916Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’26.1490.58421
1018Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.1550.59025
1112Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’26.1940.62925
128Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’26.2950.73023
1319Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.3870.82221
144Felipe MassaFerrari1’26.4490.88416
1514Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’26.5941.02913
1617Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’26.8021.23721
1715James CaladoForce India-Mercedes1’27.0411.47624
1811Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’27.2241.65916
1920Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’27.8182.25324
2023Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’27.8692.30420
2121Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’28.1922.62721
2222Rodolfo GonzalezMarussia-Cosworth1’29.5263.96126

2013 Italian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Hamilton edges Alonso as Monza practice begins”

  1. Didn’t hear complaints on the radios, looks to be a competitive weekend

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      6th September 2013, 12:00

      JB had quite a lot to say about his MP4-28 in the first hour or so.

  2. Was Massa just expecting Alonso to do his practice start more quickly? He seemed rushed out of the garage also, like it wasn’t a planned run – merely them spontaneously deciding to do a practice start and as such he had to race to beat the light (hence the burnout from the garage and the lock-up).


    1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      6th September 2013, 10:48

      Yeah that was confusing.

  3. Two Mercs in the top 3 – could be very quick in qualifying.

    1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      6th September 2013, 10:50

      LOL that’s hardly unusual, @vettel1

      1. @shreyasf1fan that was my pointless observation ;) More so than usual though

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          6th September 2013, 11:08

          @vettel1 Haha ;) well Ferrari seems to have pace, and Red Bull are sure to be at the top or close to it by P2..so waiting for a great quali tomorrow! ;)

  4. Impressive session from Calado for a first outing.

    1. not so impressive from di resta :P

      1. @eljueta Di Resta has had only a handful of memorable performances. In 80% of races he’s just another car that the race director doesn’t bother to film more than once per race. I don’t get the hype that surrounded him to be honest.

      2. di resta only did around half the laps as most other runners so i’m guessing he might have had some sort of problem. Both Force India’s well off the pace though considering top 14 are covered by less than 1 second.

        1. I know practice times aren’t entirely representative, but this is a track that usually suits Force India down to the ground, so to struggle here like they did in FP1 is a bit worrying for them.

  5. hmmmm, there might be hope for this race! I sure hope ALO held back just a little bit and has some more speed in the bag. Looks promising so far, lets hope it stays that way.

    1. @karter22 Alonso ran wide at Parabolica on his final lap, which probably cost him a tenth, so yes, Ferrari do look quick. Actually, could Ferrari have actually arrived at a Grand Prix weekend with the out-and-out fastest car for the first time since this race in 2010? I sure hope so, and even if they don’t, all Alonso needs to be is near the top guys, he’ll do the rest.

      1. @william-brierty
        Thanks for the insight! It ran at 2 in the morning my time so i wasn´t really up for it… I hope to catch some of fp2! This is good news, and I agree… get him up there and he´ll do the rest! Looking very promising indeed!

  6. I was hugely impressed with James Calado. To be just four tenths of an experienced, and highly rated teammate on a track that a) he has never driven a car on before, and b) requires time and laps in order to build confidence in the braking zones is an excellent effort. Onboard, he was smooth, progressive and not in anyway erratic, but was equally chasing the throttle through the apexs of the corners. Out of the car he is calm, measured and mature, and has the kind of mature head on young shoulders that would do well in F1, and has done with guys like Rosberg, Vettel and Hulkenberg. For me, it looks very likely that Calado will replace Sutil. Sutil has infrequent flashes of competence, but his career is not going anywhere. Sutil is in no way a bad driver, but he is equally spectacularly unspectacular, and its not like he’s not going to improve as a driver, so why not try this highly impressive young Brit?

    1. I’d drop Di Resta before Sutil

      1. IMO Sutil should be left out first… I don’t know what he brings to the Force India team!

        1. Mechanical problems, for instance. Joking apart, just the entire behavior from Di Resta should be enough for him to be dropped, some of the guys from the back markers or a new driver, such as Calado, would fill the void.

    2. *has never driven an F1 car on before

      1. That is incorrect though as he took part in the YDT in Silverstone.

        1. I don’t remember anyone driving at Monza during the Silverstone test :P

        2. @mike-dee Which is why I’d be correct in saying that he has never driven an F1 car at Monza.

  7. I think most people (myself included) believed Lewis’ move to Mercedes was questionable, at best. Turns out Mercedes has come on form right on time and McLaren is lost. I really didn’t see this kind of success for Lewis, Nico, or Mercedes this year. Mercedes looks very strong for the future, even though nobody has any real idea who will be on form with the new engines coming on next season. But they have some good people in the positions that matter in the team, and Nico and Lewis form what has to be considered the best driver duo in F1. I’m really hoping to see the Red Bull, or should I say Sebastian Vettel dominance broken. Won’t happen this year I’m afraid, but there is always next season.

    1. If Mercedes aren’t the team pumping stupid amounts of R&D into the 2014 power-train.

      High prestige and a permanent mark in F1 history, to be the team to knock Red-Bull off their perch.

      Is it coincidence that Mercedes have taken a significant step forward when Lewis Hamilton joined the team. Oh and Lewis’ former team suddenly go all mid-field. Is it?

      1. @pSynrg
        No coincidence at all, the amount of personnel that Mercedes recruited last year would bankrupt a small team, they now have some of the best names in the business in every department. That is why Lewis was convinced to move. As for Mclaren being mid-field they have been off the ball for years along with Ferrari. Another reason Lewis chose to leave.

        1. @funkyf1 I’m just playing around with the notion that Lewis Hamilton is the one that makes the difference.

          I believe he is. YMMV.

          1. @pSynrg YMMV?
            I believe Lewis is a great driver who would be a great contributer, but my point still stands, he is not the sole reason Mercedes has got better!

  8. @pSynrg
    No coincidence at all, the amount of personnel that Mercedes recruited last year would bankrupt a small team, they now have some of the best names in the business in every department. That is why Lewis was convinced to move. As for Mclaren being mid-field they have been off the ball for years along with Ferrari. Another reason Lewis chose to leave.

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