Monza (Italy), Sep 4 (IANS) Force India had an impressive opening practice in the Italian Grand PriX here on Friday as its Formula One drivers — Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez — finished fourth and fifth fastest, respectively.
However, there was frustration on the faces of Ferrari fans as Sebastian Vettel, who finished practice in third place, was over 1.5 seconds behind the leading Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
There were a number of spins and offs as drivers tested the limits, but the only red flag came midway through the 90 minutes when Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz beached his car in the gravel after a spin at Parabolica.
Hamilton, the world championship points leader, was quick from the word go, and ended as the only driver to dip beneath 1 minute and 24.670 seconds.
Nico Rosberg was left trailing by 0.463 seconds with one minute and 25.133 seconds, but was still in a separate class as the Silver Arrows dominated.
As expected, McLaren struggled on a circuit that demands maximum power and straight-line speed. Fernando Alonso was only 17th on one minute and 28.023 seconds, and Jenson Button 18th on one minute and 28.423 seconds.