A warm and sunny Monza brought out the best in the track and the drivers, as the GP2 field got to work on its final race weekend of the 2011 season.
Sam Bird set one of the first fast laps of the morning, but it wasn't until Julian Leal, Luiz Razia, Fabio Leimer and Fairuz Fauzy went to the top of the timesheets in the 1:34-range.
After that it was down to Leimer and Luca Filippi to blaze a trail into the sort of times that had been expected, with Leimer setting a benchmark of 1:32.128s before his mid-session pit stop that was then eclipsed by Filippi who stayed out longer on a quiet track to record a 1:32.018s at just past the 15 minute mark, and while neither driver was able to improve their best time in later runs there was also no one able to challenge them for the top two spots either.
Romain Grosjean had a practice of two halves, overshooting both of the first two chicanes and taking a trip through the gravel at the Parabolica early on which resulted in him setting a time of just 1:46.198s after five runs coming back into the pits for a check-over. He improved considerably in the second half of the session to slip into third place with a laptime of 1:32.316s, although that was still a little disappointing given that he routinely tops the Friday morning practice sessions.
Johnny Cecotto's car spun off at the Parabolica on only his second time around the Monza track leaving him at the bottom of the timesheets for the morning, while Julian Leal's practice session came to a premature end when he spun out in the second chicane with less than five minutes of the 30 minute practice session remaining. Michael Herck's car also ground to a halt as the chequered flag came out.
Standing in for the injured Stefano Coletti at Trident, Stéphane Richelmi finished his first session in GP2 in 25th place with a time of 1:34.935s but was able to complete only eight laps while the typical run was 14-15 laps.
Full practice session times