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F1 Italian GP: Mercedes leads upgraded Ferrari in FP1

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set a familiar pace as the Italian Grand Prix gets underway, ahead of the upgraded Ferrari.
ITALIAN GRAND PRIX - Free practice results (1)

Nico Rosberg has picked up from where he left off in Belgium by topping the first free practice timesheets for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The dominant winner last time out at Spa-Francorchamps, Rosberg led Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton out of the box in Italy, the German stopping the clock at 1min 22.959secs using the soft tyres, two tenths up on his title rival.

Though third place Sebastian Vettel would find himself more than a second adrift of his countryman, with Kimi Raikkonen fourth it was still a positive start to the weekend for home hopes Ferrari, which is introducing an upgraded engine this weekend having now used the remainder of its development tokens.

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With only Force India and Haas utilising the super-soft rubber in FP1, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean completed the top six, ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas.

Having courted the majority of the pre-race attention this weekend following a controversial race day in Belgium, Max Verstappen was eighth fastest in the Red Bull, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and Daniel Ricciardo.

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Around a 'power circuit' it is expecting to struggle on, McLaren-Honda ended FP1 a notable 11th and 13th with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso respectively, though the latter would end the session with a suspected gearbox issue.

Preparing for his last-ever Italian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa spent the initial part of the session on the sidelines after suffering a boost issue but would recover to 14th by the chequered flag.

Elsewhere, Kevin Magnussen made his return to the cockpit just five days after his high-speed crash at Spa-Francorchamps. However, he was last of the 22 runners, just behind fellow Renault driver Jolyon Palmer.

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September 02, 2016 12:31 PM

I've just been watching the Monza F1 first practice. After the stupidity of saying that Lewis Hamilton had a 35 place grid penalty for using extra parts, But starting at the back of the grid, when he theoretically should have started half way round the circuit! Today the FIA say he has a 55 grid place penalty this weekend. so where will he start from? Will it be near Rome or Florence? OR will it be at the back of the grid like last week? Is there anyone at the FIA that has any spark of common sense with these stupid penalties that are handed out and not acted upon? But again, Common Sense is not common.

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