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Italian Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen makes perfect start in record quest

The Dutchman was faster than Sainz in Italian GP FP1.

Verstappen Monza
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen made the perfect start in his quest for a record-breaking 10th F1 victory with the fastest time in first practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

The championship leader set a benchmark of a 1:22.657 to finish just 0.046secs faster than Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Sergio Perez finished third in the second Red Bull as tyre talk dominated the opening hour of running at Monza.

Result Free practice 1 - Italian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
Results are being loaded...

In an uneventful session, Alfa Romeo was the headline struggler with numerous issues across the hour.

Both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were wheeled back into the garage from the pit lane instantly with clutch and anti-stall issues stemming from a software error, before ride height problems when the duo did hit the track led to complaints of the cars being "undriveable" from both.

Alex Albon took a trip over the gravel on the exit of Ascari after a high-speed snap of oversteer, though the Williams driver escaped without damage.

With the Alternative Tyre Allocation making its second appearance after an initial trial in Hungary, the entire field stuck with one compound of tyre across the session.

Verstappen set the benchmark ahead of Sainz, who is celebrating his birthday, and Perez, whilst Charles Leclerc and George Russell ensured the entire top five had run on Hard tyres.

Fernando Alonso was sixth for Aston Martin ahead of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton - the Spaniard on Mediums, the McLaren on Softs and the Mercedes on Hards.

Everyone else was on Softs other than the two Haas drivers and F1 official session debutant Felipe Drugovich in the second Aston Martin - the Brazilian completing one of the two obligated rookie runs for the Silverstone-based outfit.

Yuki Tsunoda was ninth quickest for AlphaTauri ahead of Albon.

Oscar Piastri was two-tenths down on Norris in 11th, with Logan Sargeant again showing signs of improvement to sit 12th at the end of the session.

Liam Lawson gets his first chance to put a full weekend together whilst standing in for Daniel Ricciardo - the New Zealander finishing faster than Pierre Gasly's Alpine.

Bottas was ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon, with Drugovich, Kevin Magnussen and Zhou Guanyu completing the order.

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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