Skip to main content

Hamilton bounces back after troubled week to post fastest time in Monza practice

September 7, 2012 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
Lewis Hamilton has set the early pace in practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton has set the early pace in practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lewis Hamilton fastest in Friday's practice for the Italian Grand Prix
  • McLaren star shrugs off rumors he will be quitting McLaren
  • Michael Schumacher tops time sheets in morning session for Mercedes
  • Ma Quing Hua first Chinese driver to compete in F1

(CNN) -- McLaren's Lewis Hamilton bounced back after a torrid week to post the fastest time Friday in free practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was taken out in the opening corner at Spa last weekend, had to remove postings on his Twitter account which divulged sensitive team information and then fend off rumors he had already sealed a deal to drive for Mercedes next season.

Undaunted, the 27-year-old took the honors in the afternoon session with a one minute 25.290 seconds clocking at Monza, just edging out teammate and fellow Briton Jenson Button, who won last Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

They were ahead of Ferrari pair Fernando Alonso, the championship leader, and Felipe Massa, both hoping to put on strong performances in their home grand prix.

Montezemolo: Ferrari could leave F1
Fernando Alonso recovers from car crash

Alonso had suffered an engine failure in the morning session, which was topped by former Ferrari favorite and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher for Mercedes.

Reports have suggested Hamilton will replace the 43-year-old German next season, but the 2008 world champion has side stepped questions on the subject.

"I don't want to talk about it," he told the official F1 website. "I want to stay concentrated on this race, I don't have a deadline for sorting this out.

"There's a long way to go until the end of this season and Jenson showed the potential of our car last weekend and I just want to focus on that."

German Nico Rosberg was fifth fastest for Mercedes in the afternoon runs ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.

Belgian Jerome d'Ambrosio finished 12th quickest in the second Lotus, replacing Romain Grosjean of France, who has been banned for a race after being held responsible for the early crash at Spa on Sunday.

F1 history was made in the morning session as Ma Quing Hua became the first Chinese driver to compete at the highest level of motorsport.

The HRT development driver was nearly six seconds slower than Schumacher but avoided problems and might have recorded a much faster lap but for a small mistake in sector two.

India's Narain Karthikeyan took over in the afternoon and left the crash after a minor crash which briefly held up the session.

Alonso takes a 24-point lead over two-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel into Sunday's race with another Red Bull driver, Mark Webber of Australia, a further eight points adrift.

But both Red Bulls were off the pace in practice taking 11th and 13th fastest in the afternoon.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
ADVERTISEMENT