There were top ten times in practice at for the Italian Grand Prix for Stoffel Vandoorne, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, and Felipe Massa.
Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s been a bit of a surprising Friday for us as a team. To be inside the top 10 with both cars has been a very positive start to the weekend, especially on a track like Monza where we know the engine deficit plays a very big role. I think it’s been a very positive Friday, but, as we can see, the lap-times are very close behind us, so we need to keep working – to keep fighting for every tenth, hundredth, thousandth we can find – because it’s easy to lose a lot of places here. We would be extremely happy if we can carry forward today’s performance into tomorrow, but I think we might go backwards a little bit as the others probably have a bit extra in hand with engine modes. But, we just need to benefit from others’ mistakes, really focus on our own performance, and hopefully we can carry this momentum through to tomorrow. The weather forecast doesn’t really worry me. So far today has been dry – I haven’t yet seen the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend – but we’ll see what happens and you never know how it will affect our running.”
Fernando Alonso: “Today has been a very positive day, with a good feeling in both sessions. We did find some performance here, which was a little bit unexpected because coming to such an unfavourable circuit for us we weren’t hoping much, but we have both cars in the top ten 10 and this is very good. We’ve tried some interesting things and there’s been some good learning, and hopefully tomorrow we can put more into qualifying and repeat the result, even though it will be more difficult. Stoffel helped me in Spa, when he had penalties, and here I’m starting last due to penalties again, so I will try to help him as much as I can by doing some towing, and hopefully put him in the best position for Sunday.”
Esteban Ocon: “It was a solid day of practice. We were testing a lot of different things and I think we came away with some very good data at the end of the day. I am pretty happy with how things went and the work we completed – we will need to do the same tomorrow in the final practice session before qualifying. There was a lot of track evolution as the day progressed: the main straight, in particular, has been resurfaced and the practice starts felt a bit slippery. It started raining at one point, but it didn’t last long so it didn’t really influence our day.”
Sergio Perez: “It’s been a busy day and I feel quite happy heading into the weekend. We expected to lose some track time due to the rain, but it didn’t hit us so we were able to maximise our mileage. We collected some important information to help us set the car up for tomorrow. I wasn’t as happy with the car balance during the afternoon session, but we have enough data to look into the issue and understand how to fix it overnight.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a much better Friday than we’ve had in the last few races, so I’m really optimistic that the car can be more competitive here in Monza compared with how it was in the last races. We tried some different bodywork options and different wings plus we managed a lot of laps on the tyres so I really hope everything comes together to have a much better weekend.”
Lance Stroll: “Today we were much more competitive, and it looks much better this weekend than in the past events. I had a good day on my side, but spun on my good lap in FP2, which was a bit frustrating, and I didn’t get to put my lap time on the board with the supersofts. However, everything is feeling good and hopefully we will say the same tomorrow. I think we can be very close to Q3, if not in it, so we just have to make sure everything works out and we will see what happens.”