Lewis Hamilton has said that he got some 'useful mileage' under his belt on Friday despite the fact the opening practice session was pretty much a wash-out.

Hamilton only did one installation lap in FP1 due to torrential rain, however like all the runners he made the most of the improved conditions in FP2.

Indeed in the end he did 25 laps and finished proceedings fourth on the timesheets on a 1m 23.983s, just over a tenth of a second shy of Kimi Raikkonen, who was quickest for Ferrari.

"Obviously, it was very wet this morning so we only did the bare minimum of running - namely one installation lap," Lewis reflected. "The afternoon's session started in slightly mixed conditions, the circuit was drying, but with damp patches, so there was little to gain from going out early.

"However, by the end of the session we got some useful mileage under our belts, and I'm happy with our progress."

Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen managed 29 laps in the sister MP4-23, his best a 1m 24.365s, which left him in P7. Like Lewis he was generally pleased with the progress made, especially given the circumstances.

"I'm happy that we managed to get some dry running in before the end of the session. The weather this morning was unbelievable - it's usually so bright and sunny at Monza," he continued.

"The rain meant that, like everyone, we didn't get to finish our run programme so we have a little bit more work to do tomorrow morning. Nonetheless, I'm happy with the progress we've made."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis and Mercedes boss Norbert Haug meanwhile both remain upbeat and are confident about the team's prospects.

"The heavy rains effectively reduced us to effectively zero running in the opening practice session," said Dennis. "This afternoon, we concentrated on running on heavy fuel-loads in order to refine our race set-up and tyre choice for Sunday's grand prix. We've made good progress in both areas and are looking competitive for the rest of the weekend."

"After the flooding here this morning and a water attack to the pits, our afternoon was so much better. We chose a conservative approach and focused on our preparations for the race. If you looked at the long runs, I could see nobody being more consistent than Lewis. Heikki improved throughout the session and we look to be in good shape," added Haug.