Lewis Hamilton has topped the first practice session of the weekend at Monza, clocking in a 1:21.537. The Brit will be hoping to take the lead of the championship this weekend for the first time this season, with a win being enough to do so.
Mercedes started off the weekend in a strong manner, as Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas ended the session in second place. The Finn was ahead of the two Ferrari drivers of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who ended up third and fourth respectively.
While the session started in dry conditions, the threat of rain lingered throughout the 90 minutes, with spits of rain hitting the track early on. With 15 minutes to go, most drivers deemed the circuit too wet for slick tyre conditions and returned to the pits.
The Red Bull's followed the Mercedes' and Ferrari's, with Daniel Ricciardo heading Max Verstappen by a mere seven-thousandths of a second. During the session, it was confirmed that both drivers would receive hefty grid penalties for new engine parts.
The two Force India's continued the two-by-two's with Sergio Perez in seventh and Esteban Ocon in eighth. The pair will be hoping for a trouble-free weekend after making the headlines for all the wrong reasons at Spa last time out where they collided twice. Stoffel Vandoorne stuck a McLaren-Honda inside the top ten, ending up ninth, while Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten.
Carlos Sainz ended the day in eleventh but was caught out by the slippery conditions late on in the session. The Spaniard lost the rear of his Toro Rosso on the entry into the Parabolica and spun, but managed to stay out of the gravel. He was ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the Haas who ended up in twelfth place.
Lance Stroll was thirteenth, followed by Daniil Kvyat and Fernando Alonso. Many expect this weekend to be vital for Fernando Alonso, as McLaren's 2018 engine supplier is set to be outlined during the weekend. Alonso has previously stated that he will only stay at the team if it dumps Honda.
Romain Grosjean was sixteenth, ahead of the two Renault's of Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer. Renault will be hoping for more pace in the second practice session later today as Cyril Abiteboul stated after the Belgian Grand Prix that the French squad is now the fourth fastest team on the grid. Rounding out the timesheets was the two Sauber's of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
Would you like to stay up to date with the latest Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 news from GPtoday? Activate free push notifications and be the first to know!