The English pilot Lewis hamilton (Mercedes) set the best time in the first free practice session of the Italian Grand Prix, where the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) have been seventh and eighth, respectively.
The fourteenth round of the World Cup Formula 1 It started with a warning from Hamilton, who was the only one capable of losing 1:21 by stopping the clock at 1: 20.926 and leading by more than four tenths to his great rival and leader of the championship, Max verstappen (Red Bull).
The third place of Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), in his first outing since his departure from the team was confirmed at the end of the year, reaffirmed the good start of the German team for the qualifying session, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. and in which the grid will be defined for Saturday's Sprint.
Aston Martin was the other team that started with a good feeling in the 'Temple of Speed' by placing Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel fourth and sixth, respectively, while in the middle of both stood Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri), who returned to shine one more Friday.
As for Ferrari, he could not give a great start to his 'tifossi' and the best was Carlos Sainz, seventh, four places ahead of Charles Leclerc. Just behind the Madrid-born Alonso finished, who also won the duel against his teammate Esteban Ocon, fifteenth. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) completed the 'Top 10' of the session.
'Checo' finished Free Practice 1 in tenth position, with a time of 1 minute, 22 seconds and 39 thousandths, without benefiting from the progression of the track in the last minutes and focusing on long runs of the race.
The Spanish Fernando Alonso (Alpine) followed the same strategy, although in his case he did go out on the track to set a fast lap with media at the end, which left him eighth, an exact second behind Hamilton; also with means. Only the Briton and his Mercedes teammate, the Finn Valtteri Bottas, were faster than him on that tire.
For his part, the Madrid-born Carlos Sainz, who faces his first Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver he finished one position ahead of the great Asturian driver, being 12 thousandths faster riding the soft. Of course, his lap was not clean as he made a small mistake going long at the exit of the Ascari corner, touching the gravel, and he ran into traffic in the final part of the circuit.
The drivers, who will have to use their sensations during Free Practice 1 to choose their car configuration for the rest of the weekend, also tested the track limits set by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Special importance to the limit in the last corner, 'La Parabolica', in which they must have at least one of the four wheels on the white line that marks the outside of it so that their lap is valid in qualifying. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo and the German Mick schumacher (Haas), son of seven-time world champion Michael, had their laps canceled by surpassing that mark.