FP1: Leclerc leads Sainz for Ferrari 1-2 in opening Monza practice – Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two in the first practice session of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, topping the timesheets ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes drivers.

Leclerc set the benchmark of 1m 22.410s, on the soft tyre, to lead Sainz by 0.077s – with George Russell rounding out the top three, just under three tenths slower than the Monegasque.

READ MORE: Verstappen, Hamilton, Sainz and more ready to take engine and gearbox penalties at Monza

Lewis Hamilton – who is set for a rear grid penalty at Monza – was fourth fastest, a tenth behind his Silver Arrows teammate.

Max Verstappen was fifth fastest – although the Dutch racer was caught behind Lando Norris in the final sector on his flying lap. The Red Bull driver was, however, a second faster than the rest of the field on the hard tyre.

1


Carlos
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

1:22.410

2


Carlos
Sainz
SAI
Ferrari

+0.077s

3


George
Russell
RUS
Mercedes

+0.279s

4


Lewis
Hamilton
HAM
Mercedes

+0.421s

5


Max
Verstappen
VER
Red Bull Racing

+0.430s

Esteban Ocon was sixth fastest in the session, just ahead of Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso in P7.

Yuki Tsunoda and Valtteri Bottas finished eighth and ninth respectively for AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo, with both drivers also set to take grid penalties for Sunday’s race. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10 for McLaren.

READ MORE: Why Ferrari and Monza stories are uniquely intertwined as Leclerc and Sainz prepare for critical weekend

Alex Albon was the 11th fastest driver – just a tenth of a second off the top 10 – in the Williams ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu in P12.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was called into the pit lane early in FP1 with a technical problem although he was able to return and finish 13th.

FP1 Highlights: Italian Grand Prix 2022

Sergio Perez’s other Red Bull had DRS issues and therefore finished 14th, just ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, with Lando Norris taking P16 for McLaren.

READ MORE: This track was never good for us, says Verstappen as he aims for maiden Monza win.

The two Haas of Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Giovanazzi – who replaced Mick Schumacher – were 17th and 18th, respectively.

Nyck De Vries – filling in for Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin – was seen running air rakes for the first part of the session and then set a time good enough for 19th, just ahead of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in 20th.

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