Ros­berg tops Ital­ian GP prac­tice ahead of Hamil­ton

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

NICO Ros­berg led the way in open­ing prac­tice for the Ital­ian Grand Prix ahead of his ti­tle ri­val Lewis Hamil­ton.

Ros­berg, who has never won at Monza, fin­ished two tenths of a sec­ond clear of Hamil­ton with Kimi Raikko­nen and Se­bas­tian Vet­tel third and fourth for Fer­rari in front of the team’s home crowd.

Hamil­ton (31) holds a nine-point ad­van­tage over Ros­berg in the cham­pi­onship race and has won here in each of the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons.

Last year the Bri­tish driver, who is just one tri­umph shy of 50 grand prix vic­to­ries, topped ev­ery prac­tice and qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion be­fore seal­ing an em­phatic lights-to-flag win.

But at the so-called Tem­ple of Speed yes­ter­day, Hamil­ton was slower than Ros­berg’s best lap of one minute and 22.959 sec­onds.

As has largely been the trend this sea­son, Mercedes — For­mula One’s all-con­quer­ing team who have won all but one race this sea­son — were com­fort­ably faster than the rest of the field. In­deed no other team was within one sec­ond of Ros­berg.

Force In­dia’s Ser­gio Perez was fifth fastest ahead of Haas driver Ro­main Gros­jean.

Max Ver­stap­pen, who in­sists he will not adapt his rac­ing ap­proach de­spite court­ing crit­i­cism for his ag­gres­sive tac­tics in Bel­gium last Sun­day, fin­ished ninth in the or­der.

Jen­son But­ton tri­alled the Halo — the cock­pit pro­tec­tion de­vice which will not be in­tro­duced un­til 2018 at the ear­li­est — for the first time yes­ter­day.

The 2009 world cham­pion, who will see his McLaren fate for next sea­son de­ter­mined this month, was 11th in the or­der while his team-mate Fer­nando Alonso posted the 13th best time.

Felipe Massa an­nounced he will re­tire at the end of the sea­son in an emo­tional Press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day, and he was 14th here in prac­tice.

Bri­tish rookie Jolyon Palmer was 21st ahead of his Re­nault team-mate Kevin Mag­nussen who has been given the all-clear to race this week­end fol­low­ing his huge shunt in Bel­gium last Sun­day. — Sport­sMail

Nico Ros­berg and Lewis Hamil­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.