The two Formula One practice sessions in preparation for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix (9 a.m. ET/ESPN 2) were a tale of two completely opposite sessions in terms of conditions. The first practice was run in the rain in which not many of the major players too much risk on hot laps. Sergio Perez topped the speed charts in that wet setting with a time of 1:34.000-seconds in his No. 11 Force India entry. His teammate Esteban Ocon was third on the timing charts with a lap of 1:34.593-seconds in his No. 31 Force India car.
Kimi Raikkonen (1:34.550-seconds), Brendon Hartley (1:35.024-seconds) and Daniel Ricciardo (1:35.207-seconds) rounded out the top five.
The second session was a dry yet wild one.
Marcus Ericsson crashed hard in the practice which saw his No. 9 Sauber flip end over end in a wild incident. Luckily, he’d walk away unscathed but he didn’t know at the time what or why had just happened.
In practice, despite getting off course, Sebastian Vettel turned the fast lap of 1:21.105-seconds. Vettel, won the last race last weekend in Spa and had his No. 5 Ferrari dialed in on Friday. His teammate Raikkonen was second quick with a time of 1:21.375-seconds in his No. 7 Ferrari. The speed is promising for Ferrari as they normally don’t show much in the two normal Friday practice sessions. But, they were 1-2 today and look to be the clear cut favorites to win their first home race since 2011 and just their second triumph in Italy since 2007.
The two Mercedes drivers were next up as Lewis Hamilton was third fastest with a time of 1:21.392-seconds in his No. 44 Mercedes while his teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth (1:21.803-seconds). Mercedes has won every Italian Grand Prix since 2014 and five of the last six overall.
The two Red Bulls were next with Max Verstappen fifth (1:22.154-seconds) and Daniel Ricciardo sixth (1:22.296-seconds).
It was another strong outing for the Force India’s as Ocon and Perez were seventh and eighth respectively.