Mercedes pair Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were both encouraged following practice today for the 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix.

Schumacher went especially well in the first session, ending up quickest overall on a 1 minute 25.422 seconds, which put him three tenths up on Jenson Button. Although he slipped to tenth in P2, hampered by a KERS issue, his time from the morning still left him fourth in the day's combined times [see separate story - HERE].

"I am quite happy with the practice sessions as we achieved a lot of reasonable work with regards to long runs which was our main focus today," Schumacher reflected. "We have a different aero package for Monza which seems to work well so it seems to be looking better than in the last races.

"During the sessions, we made progress as well so I am curious to have a look at the data we collected and learn the full picture.

"It's always nice to be back in Monza too as I am still so warmly welcomed by all the tifosi. As I said earlier, I would like to say thank you for that and hope we can put on a good show tomorrow and in the race."

Rosberg also had a promising day, posting the third best time in P1 and the fifth best time in P2 this afternoon.

"That was definitely a better start for us than in Spa," he noted. "We were able to complete a lot of laps today and it seems that we have a good pace on high and low fuel levels. As always, it's difficult to say where we are compared to the others but I hope we can score some good points this weekend. It was great fun to drive on this amazing track, and I always like the special atmosphere here. Yesterday I went out on the old Monza track with a scooter which is great to see."

"We've had a pretty good day and both Nico and Michael were reasonably happy with the balance of the car by the end of the second session this afternoon," summarised team principal, Ross Brawn.

"We completed our planned programme, and have all the information and data that we needed on the different tyres and fuel levels, so now we will have a look and make our plans for tomorrow."

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