F1 Monza FP1&2 Results and Report: Vettel Fastest Overall as Three Teams Fight in Italy

What Happens When It’s a Three-Team Battle

9:42am EST — It was a three-way fight between McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari to lead the Friday practices for the 2010 Italian Grand Prix.  McLaren took the win first, with Jenson Button’s fastest time in the first session, though he was very closely followed by Sebastian Vettel there, with Lewis Hamilton third fastest.  Button and Hamilton spent some time at the top in the second session, but the Ferrari pace on soft tires was not to be beat, until Vettel took the top position on the timesheets in the second session after Felipe Massa had a dramatic off at Parabolica while holding the session fastest time.  Fernando Alonso had taken the lead then, but lost the fight to Vettel.  The two were the only drivers to post times in the 1:22s range.  Button and Hamilton were fourth and fifth fastest in the second session, while Webber’s slower pace continued, posting the sixth fastest time in both session, when the second was ended fifteen minutes early with a water pressure issue.

Button was fastest in the first practice at Monza, though he was closely followed by Vettel, with teammate Hamilton, Kubica, and Rosberg rounding out the fastest five. It was a slow-starting session, with fast times not set until about halfway through as the teams used their time for the in-season testing they are denied.  Red Bull used aero paint and has a splattered set of cars, McLaren went for a large rear wing, and Toro Rosso tried out the f-duct for the first time, six races before it will be banned for next season.  Kovalainen lost considerable time with continued hydraulics issues in his Lotus keeping him from the circuit.  Similarly, Bruno Senna had a set-back with a brake fluid leak that kept him from running more than eight laps.  For Ferrari, Alonso and Massa were eighth and ninth, while Vettel’s teammate Webber was sixth fastest.  Schumacher had another bad day, posting the tenth fastest time, five positions behind younger teammate Rosberg.

Final Times for Monza FP1:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Jenson Button 1:23.693 28
2. Sebastian Vettel 1:23.790 +.097 27
3. Lewis Hamilton 1:23.967 +.274 25
4. Robert Kubica 1:24.120 +.427 25
5. Nico Rosberg 1:24.129 +.436 30
6. Mark Webber 1:24.446 +.753 26
7. Tonio Liuzzi 1:24.512 +.819 19
8. Fernando Alonso 1:24.543 +.850 24
9. Felipe Massa 1:24.648 +.955 22
10. Michael Schumacher 1:24.756 +1.063 26
11. Nico Hulkenberg 1:24.841 +1.148 28
12. Paul di Resta 1:24.923 +1.230 23
13. Vitaly Petrov 1:25.292 +1.599 25
14. Sebastien Buemi 1:25.318 +1.625 29
15. Pedro de la Rosa 1:25.320 +1.627 20
16. Kamui Kobayashi 1:25.334 +1.641 24
17. Jaime Alguersuari 1:25.897 +2.204 19
18. Timo Glock 1:26.772 +3.079 19
19. Jarno Trulli 1:26.898 +3.205 12
20. Lucas di Grassi 1:26.956 +3.263 17
21. Heikki Kovalainen 1:27.374 +3.681 14
22. Bruno Senna 1:28.256 +4. 563 8
23. Rubens Barrichello 1:28.516 +4. 823 4
24. Sakon Yamamoto 1:29.870 +6.177 17

An hour into the session and Button led Hamilon, Alonso, Vettel, and Rosberg as the fastest five.  Only Bruno Senna had not set a time in the second practice session.  Hamilton had not run for much of the session, posting the second fastest time on an early flying lap after joining the rest of the cars on track.  Just five minutes after the one-third mark and Hamilton’s time overtook his teammate, by five hundredths.  The top five were the same, barring that change, with Rosberg, Massa, Hulkenberg, Sutil, and Barrichello the top ten.

The running order still had not changed much at the halfway point of the session, adding to the fact that so little can be gained from analyzing these practice sessions with the lack of in-season testing.  Hamilton’s time still led Button’s, with Alonso, Vettel, and Massa the fastest five.  The Ferraris were gaining on their lower-top-ten times from the first practice as some of the teams moved to the softer tires.  Alonso had led Massa most of the session, but the drivers traded places with forty minutes left to run.  Senna managed to get back into the car to attempt to set some times with just over thirty minutes left as Hamilton returned to the garage with end-plate damage on his right front.  Only seven drivers were on the track then.  Meanwhile, Massa was heading out for his first run on the soft tires.  He went fastest, eclipsing Hamilton, Button, Vettel, and teammate Alonso, setting the fastest session and weekend time of 1:23.061.

Senna was back into the garage and Alguersuari was stopped on the side of the track near della Roggia with twenty-five minutes left.  Massa had a quite dramatic off through the gravel at Parabolica, just before Alonso took his fastest time, but avoided the tire barrier to keep going.  Vettel immediately took Alonso’s glory by setting the fastest time, though they were the only two to manage a 1:22s lap time with twenty minutes left.  Button was setting times very far off the pace, presumably with heavy fuel.  All drivers but Webber, Buemi, de la Rosa, Trulli, and Kovalainen were in the garage making last minutes changes with fifteen minutes left.  Massa’s off ended his session while Webber stopped on-track in his sixth-fastest position, effectively ending his session as well, telling reporters that it was an issue with water pressure as a later-broadcast radio message to Webber indicated as well.

Most of the drivers were back out with ten minutes remaining, though none seemed to be setting particularly faster times.  Alonso was back out on soft tires, the “same set as before,” according to Ferrari on Twitter.  The top five were unchanged from the final minutes, with Vettel still leading Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, and Button.

Final Times for Monza FP2:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel 1:22.839 27
2. Fernando Alonso 1:22.915 +.076 32
3. Felipe Massa 1:23.061 +.222 20
4. Lewis Hamilton 1:23.154 +.315 22
5. Jenson Button 1:23.210 +.371 38
6. Mark Webber 1:23.415 +.576 23
7. Rubens Barrichello 1:23.708 +.869 31
8. Robert Kubica 1:23.709 +.870 32
9. Nico Hulkenberg 1:23.852 +1.013 30
10. Nico Rosberg 1:23.857 +1.018 29
11. Adrian Sutil 1:24.181 +1.342 35
12. Tonio Liuzzi 1:24.380 +1.541 36
13. Vitaly Petrov 1:24.407 +1.568 21
14. Michael Schumacher 1:24.448 +1.609 29
15. Sebastien Butmi 1:24.517 +1.678 35
16. Pedro de la Rosa 1:24.547 +1.708 32
17. Kamui Kobayashi 1:24.785 +1.946 31
18. Jaime Alguersuari 1:25.106 +2.267 24
19. Jarno Trulli 1:26.204 +3.365 38
20. Heikki Kovalainen 1:26.306 +3.467 41
21. Lucas di Grassi 1:26.631 +3.792 31
22. Timo Glock 1:26.676 +3.837 25
23. Sakon Yamamoto 1:29.498 +6.659 5
24. Bruno Senna N/A N/A 3

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