By Alex Kapadia
The Formula 1 practice sessions for the Italian Grand Prix got off to a flying start today – with just a second separating the top 12 cars.
Bridgestone brought along the soft and medium tyres for the high speed circuit of Monza.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyres development for Bridgestone, said: “Today was interesting as this was the first time that we have run in Monza this season.
“Historically, there would be a test here before the race weekend, so today was the first time that the teams have used their special low drag and lower downforce Monza configurations.
“Additionally, the revised kerbs have changed the nature of the lap, so this was another factor to consider today. Despite this, lap times were once more very close, with the top twelve cars this afternoon separated by a second.”
He said the outcome of the race was very much up in the air. He said: “It is still too early for us to make strong predictions.
“The track is still improving and there were many different chassis set-ups and aerodynamic configurations used today which makes tyre comparison difficult.
“What we can say is that both compounds have worked well today. We haven’t seen any graining and there were no other particular tyre issues.
“As the times are so close the smallest mistake by a driver or in car set-up will make a big difference in qualifying tomorrow.”
Adrian Sutil held nothing back as he charged to the top of the speed charts to set the pace for the opening two practices.
The German ended the second practice with a 1:23.924 for the Force India-Mercedes team beating the earlier fast lap belonging to Lewis Hamilton by 0.012 seconds.