FP1: Verstappen pips Sainz to top opening practice at Monza

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Italy, Autodromo Nazionale di Monzait

Last year’s Italian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen set the benchmark in the opening practice at Monza, narrowly beating Ferrari’s one-time F1race winner Carlos Sainz. F1Technical’s senior writer Balazs Szabo reports from the Monza paddock,

With Pirelli reintroducing the alternative tyre allocation that heavily limits drivers’ run plans, the majority of the field opted for the durable hard compound for the opening practice session in order to complete consistent running.

The double champion used the hard compound all through session to set a 1m22.657s which was enough to beat Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who set the second fastest lap time on the same compound.

Sergio Perez displayed much more encouraging pace in the second Red Bull, taking the third place ahead of Charles Leclerc with both the Mexican and the Monegasque driver using the white-walled Pirelli tyres.

Mercedes had a seemingly low-key start to their weekend, but the Silver Arrows appear to have more pace than expected before the Monza race weekend. George Russell struggled for pace in the opening part of the one-hour session, but he managed to climb himself up to P5 in the standings, half a second adrift of Verstappen’s benchmark.

His teammate Lewis Hamilton displayed great pace early on, but he was unable to improve his time when the track started to offer more grip. However, his high-fuel run in the closing stages of the session was highly convincing.

After completing some test runs in the early part of the session, double world champion Fernando Alonso set the sixth best time on the medium compound.

His teammate Lance Stroll sat out the session with the team’s reserve driver Felipe Drugovich getting behind the other Aston Martin. The reigning F2 champion took 18th with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and Alfa Romeo racer Zhou rounding out the leaderboard.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:22.65730
255Carlos SainzFerrari1:22.703+0.046s27
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:22.834+0.177s29
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:22.966+0.309s21
563George RussellMercedes1:23.189+0.532s27
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:23.214+0.557s23
74Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:23.241+0.584s21
844Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:23.269+0.612s25
922Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:23.271+0.614s22
1023Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:23.444+0.787s17
1181Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:23.446+0.789s23
122Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:23.661+1.004s20
1340Liam LawsonAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:23.833+1.176s28
1410Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:23.931+1.274s25
1577Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:23.952+1.295s16
1627Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:24.067+1.410s22
1731Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:24.090+1.433s25
1834Felipe DrugovichAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:24.140+1.483s23
1920Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:24.217+1.560s23
2024Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:24.232+1.575s16