Mercedes lead practice as Ferrari engine updates put them ahead of Red Bull

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

Rosberg was quickest having set his time on the Super Soft tyre in the morning session on a 1m22.959s, as Hamilton went a tenth quicker in the afternoon on the same tyre. Mercedes looked to be focusing on their high fuel Soft runs in the opening stages of the morning session, while the afternoon was spent focusing on high fuel runs.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H. 02.09.2016. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Practice Day. -, EMail: - copy of publication required for printed pictures. Every used picture is fee-liable. © Copyright: Photo4 / XPB Images

Photo Credit: XPB Images

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were the third quickest drivers, having posted better times than the two Red Bull drivers during the Super Soft runs. Ferrari also looked quicker during the Soft tyre runs, while Verstappen had to contend with brake issues at the start of the afternoon session.

Ferrari are running new engine updates this weekend which they have used up all of their remaining tokens on and includes a new MGU-H, MGU-K, turbo and compressor.

Fernando Alonso also hit hydraulic issues towards the end of the morning session, but he got back out in the mid-part of the afternoon despite some early hiccups with his clutch. The McLaren driver went sixth fastest on his initial Super Soft run, two tenths ahead of Button who was on the Super Soft tyre struggling with balance issues.

Haas’ Romain Grosjean managed to get into the top ten again, as they ran the new Ferrari engine updates along with aero upgrades, most notably their rear wing which takes on a rather aggressive design. Grosjean ended the afternoon ninth fastest, just behind Valterri Bottas in the Williams who was quicker than team mate – and soon to be retiree – Felipe Massa.

Both Force India drivers were outside of the top ten after Perez managed fifth quickest in the morning session, while Alfonso Celis Jr took over from Nico Hulkenberg and finished 12th quickest.

The two Manor’s were 16th and 18th quickest, with Pascal Wehrlein ahead of Esteban Ocon respectively. While Wehrlein was able to switch to the Soft tyre, Ocon had to abandon his run after he lost drive coming out of the second chicane on the entry to the Lesmo section causing him to stop on track. The team is confident that it could reach Q2 tomorrow and potentially Q3 with the sets they have brought.

Photo Credit: XPB Images

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