Sergio Perez set the pace on a drying Monza circuit in Friday’s first practice for the Italian GP, a session in which Sebastian Vettel covered just four laps due to a hydraulic leak.
Biblical rain prior to Friday’s first practice saw the GP3 session cancelled but with the rain easing slightly, FIA race director Charlie Whiting gave the go-ahead of the Formula 1 cars to run at the scheduled 11am start.
With Renault’s new spec 3 engine in the back of his RB14, Daniel Ricciardo lined up at the end of the pit lane seven minutes before the session even began as Red Bull hoped to get in practice before the rain returned.
It did so as the light went green but that proved to be the least of Ricciardo’s worries as he slowed on his out-lap. “I’ve got a problem,” he reported. “I’ve got no power,” he said, adding that he will “stay in first” as he limped back to the pits.
📻 "I've got no power"
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 31, 2018
Nico Hulkenberg, facing a 10-place grid penalty for causing the lap 1 collision at Spa, posted the morning’s first lap time; a 1:38.567.
Ferrari joined the party with Sebastian Vettel going quickest before Carlos Sainz lowered the benchmark to a 1:36.995.
Moments later heavier rain began to fall and Max Verstappen was pitched into a spin on his intermediate tyres. “All good, just a little trip,” said the Red Bull driver.
That rain shower was a brief one and more drivers came out to play. Mercedes went 1-2 with Valtteri Bottas three-tenths up on Lewis Hamilton.
Ricciardo joined the running in his now-working RB14 while his former team-mate Vettel saw stuck in the garage as his SF71H suffering a suspected hydraulic leak resulting in a gearbox change. He covered just four laps in FP1.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 31, 2018
It wasn’t good timing for the Ferrari driver as the track began to dry out a little bit and the lap times fell.
Max Verstappen jumped up into P1 but lost out to Brendon Hartley and then Kimi Raikkonen; a 1:34.742 for the Finn.
With two minutes to go several drivers ventured out for a shot at glory, and the opening P1 of the weekend.
It went to Sergio Perez with a 1:34.000. Raikonen was second, half a second down, while Esteban Ocon was third.
Hartley, Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Verstappen were next in line ahead of Sainz, Hulkenberg and Bottas.
1 Sergio Perez Force India 18 laps
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 94.55s 28 laps
3 Esteban Ocon Force India 94.593s 17 laps
4 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 95.024s 17 laps
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 95.207s 13 laps
6 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 95.438s 19 laps
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 95.665s 10 laps
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 95.995s 15 laps
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 96.107s 15 laps
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 96.238s 8 laps
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 96.546s 6 laps
12 Charles Leclerc Sauber 96.648s 10 laps
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 97.066s 13 laps
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 97.426s 14 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 97.683s 13 laps
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 97.79s 11 laps
17 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 97.867s 4 laps
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 97.929s 10 laps
19 Lance Stroll Williams 98.253s 8 laps
20 Lando Norris McLaren 98.282s 9 laps