Perez beats Raikkonen in wet FP1 at Monza
Italian Grand Prix - FP1

Perez beats Raikkonen in wet FP1 at Monza

Sergio Perez put Force India top of the order for opening practice of the Italian Grand Prix weekend in wet conditions.

A heavy shower fell ahead of the Friday morning session and, although the rain had eased off by the start the condiitons were tricky.The rain would stop completely during the session and the track continued to dry, meaning lap times continued to drop throughout the 90 minutes.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had delighted the home crowd by going quickest late on but his benchmark was beaten by Perez after the clock had expired, with the Mexican driver setting a 1:34.000 flat -- 0.5s quicker than the Ferrari. Esteban Ocon finished third in the other Force India as the rebooted team showed more impressive wet-weather pace after locking out the second row of the grid in similar conditions at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull-branded cars also did well in the conditions. Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley finished fourth, with teammate Pierre Gasly in sixth position -- either side of him was Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Ricciardo had encountered some engine drama early in the session but emerged late on, when the track was at its driest, so set his time.

Renault pair Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg took the next two spots, ahead of Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes had led the session in its earlier stages but sets its flying attempts when there was more water on track, meaning it was inevitable both would slide down the order late on.

Charles Lecerc was 12th for Sauber ahead of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen. Not even a rain shower could propel FernandO Alonso up the order as he had to settle for 14th in his McLaren on what will be the former Ferrari driver's final Italian Grand Prix before quitting F1 at the end of the season.

Romain Grosjean was 16th in the other Haas, ahead of Marcus Ericsson. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, hoping to end the team's eight-year victory drought this weekend, encountered some gearbox gremlins early on and completed just four laps. Williams pair Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll were 18th and 19th, ahead of McLaren 2019 hopeful Lando Norris, deputising for Stoffel Vandoorne in the opening session.

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