Thursday. 30.11.2023

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets in a Mercedes one-two in first practice for the Formula One Italian Grand Prix on Friday while Ferrari performed badly at home.

Bottas produced a best 1 minute 20.703 seconds around the 5.793-kilometre Autodromo Nazionale in Monza to edge out team-mate and world championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 0.245 seconds.

Hamilton has won five of seven season races to top the standings by 47 points from Max Verstappen of Red Bull. Verstappen was fifth in first practice having recovered from hitting the wall through the Ascari chicane.

Alexander Albon was third in the other Red Bull while Alpha Tauri were fourth and sixth through Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly.

Hard as expected

Ferrari, in their 999th F1 race, found life as difficult as expected with their struggling car lacking the power to master the 'Temple of Speed'.

Charles Leclerc was 11th while Sebastian Vettel's miserable farewell season in a red car continued in 19th.

Second practice is later Friday with qualifying for Sunday's race after final practice on Saturday.

Bottas leads Mercedes one-two at Monza as Ferrari struggle again