Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2021

Hamilton comfortably quickest in sole practice session before qualifying

2021 Italian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton comfortably led the sole practice session ahead of qualifying at Monza.

The Mercedes driver used a set of medium compound tyres to set the benchmark time of the first hour of running. He lapped the parkland circuit in 1’20.926, leaving him over two seconds off his record-setting pole position lap time of last year.

However he incurred the wrath of Esteban Ocon after getting in the Alpine driver’s way in the middle of the high-speed Ascari chicane late in the session.

Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas also favoured the medium tyre and went third-fastest, over half a second behind. The pair were separated by Max Verstappen, the championship leader four-tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace despite running the soft rubber, the only compound drivers may use in this afternoon’s qualifying session.

Aston Martin pair Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel made it four Mercedes-powered cars in the top six. The consistently impressive Pierre Gasly separated them.

Despite a dramatic moment at the exit of Ascari, Carlos Sainz Jnr posted the seventh-quickest time in his Ferrari. The top 10 was completed by Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez, the Red Bull six-tenths of a second off his team mate.

Yuki Tsunoda was even further behind his team mate, and signalled his unhappiness to Nikita Mazepin after being held up by the Haas driver early in the session. The Haas drivers ended the session slowest, though both were within half a second of the quickest Williams.

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2021 Italian Grand Prix first practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’20.92628
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’21.3780.45222
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’21.4510.52529
418Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’21.6760.75023
510Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’21.7190.79328
65Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’21.8240.89826
755Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’21.9140.98826
814Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’21.9261.00024
93Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’22.0031.07727
1011Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’22.0391.11323
1116Charles LeclercFerrari1’22.1021.17625
124Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’22.1031.17727
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’22.2701.34426
1422Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’22.5301.60431
1531Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’22.5341.60827
1688Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’23.0092.08328
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’23.0922.16631
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’23.4422.51630
199Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’23.4452.51923
2047Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’23.5512.62523

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’20.926

+0.452 Max Verstappen – 1’21.378

+0.525 Valtteri Bottas – 1’21.451

+0.750 Lance Stroll – 1’21.676

+0.793 Pierre Gasly – 1’21.719

+0.898 Sebastian Vettel – 1’21.824

+0.988 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’21.914

+1.000 Fernando Alonso – 1’21.926

+1.077 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’22.003

+1.113 Sergio Perez – 1’22.039

+1.176 Charles Leclerc – 1’22.102

+1.177 Lando Norris – 1’22.103

+1.344 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’22.270

+1.604 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’22.530

+1.608 Esteban Ocon – 1’22.534

+2.083 Robert Kubica – 1’23.009

+2.166 George Russell – 1’23.092

+2.516 Nicholas Latifi – 1’23.442

+2.519 Nikita Mazepin – 1’23.445

+2.625 Mick Schumacher – 1’23.551

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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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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6 comments on “Hamilton comfortably quickest in sole practice session before qualifying”

  1. Tuned in late into the session, what a refreshing sight to see lap times invalidated due to track limits.

    Mercedes looks fast. Let’s see if they can grab a 1-2 for the sprint.

  2. Something I don’t like about just having the 1 hour session before qualifying on these sprint weekends is that while it does result in a bit more continuous track action, It all feels so rushed that there isn’t really any time to take anything in.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      10th September 2021, 15:02

      @stefmeister absolutely…I like the idea of slowly bedding into a weekend and absorbing all the info, probably because we are used to it being that way. If sprint races become the norm, I guess we’ll get used to the new format as well.

      1. @stefmeister, @asleepatthewheel yeah, even when at the track, getting a feel for what’s going on (while finding good spots to see the action) is great to me. I guess we are not the intended audience for those suggestions.

  3. Monza styled wings…. rear end was looking awkward… reminding cars prior to 2017

    1. …or Indy500;

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