Italian F1 Grand Prix 2011: Free Practice Report (MGP)
The first two practice sessions for the final European race of the 2011 season, the Italian Grand Prix, took place today in warm sunshine at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
• Michael and Nico completed a total of 113 laps (655 km) during the two practice sessions, more than two race distances
• Nico’s car had a KERS problem at the start of P2, which required the system to be changed and cost him some track time
• His programme was subsequently adapted to focus on race preparation and he did not complete any running on lower fuel
• The fastest time of the afternoon - 1:24.010 - was over a second slower than the fastest time from P2 in 2010 - 1:22.839
“It’s always a special feeling to be here in Monza. It began yesterday when I did my lap of the circuit, saw the tifosi and enjoyed the particular atmosphere of this track. Then going out in the car today, it’s nice to feel what comes across from the fans - it reminds me of being at my home races. In terms of the character of the circuit, we are usually good on braking and traction, and there are not so many of the medium and high-speed corners in which we have not been so strong this year. It certainly looks good in terms of my position today, and I’m pleased with that; but we will only find out tomorrow what it is really worth.”
“I didn’t have an ideal session this afternoon as we had some issues, particularly with the KERS problem at the start of the session. However by the end of the day, we have learned quite a lot for the race, and importantly I was able to get used to the track. Monza is a very different circuit from many others with the high speed sectors and low downforce corners and it takes a bit of time to find your rhythm here.”
“We had two very solid practice sessions today and achieved some good work. We had a small problem with Nico’s car this afternoon which required the KERS pack to be changed, and the team did a good job to get him out again so quickly. I’m pleased with our progress over the course of the day, and we’re looking forward to a good weekend at this very special race track.”
“A constructive first day for us here on this classical race track in the beautiful Parco di Monza. Nico had a KERS problem at the beginning of the second session which cost him 10 laps compared to Michael, who completed 39 laps this afternoon including race simulations and one option run on a lower fuel load. The lap times during our race simulation runs looked consistent. Tomorrow, and on Sunday, we can build on the decent base we have found today.”
* Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *
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