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2016 Italian Grand Prix -
Practice Sessions

LEWIS HAMILTON GOES FASTEST IN FP2 ON SUPERSOFT: 
LAST YEAR’S POLE TIME ALREADY BEATEN IN FP1 USING SOFT TYRE

VERY HOT TRACK TEMPERATURES IN EXCESS OF 45 DEGREES 
CENTIGRADE AT THE ‘TEMPLE OF SPEED’

PROTOTYPE SOFT COMPOUND TYRES, AGAIN USED 
DURING FRIDAY’S FREE PRACTICE SESSIONS

Monza, September 2, 2016 – Extreme heat – with track temperatures even hotter than those seen in Belgium last weekend – very high speeds, and a relatively small performance gap between the supersoft and soft were the key hallmarks of free practice at Monza today.

Track temperatures peaked at 46 degrees centigrade during the afternoon, with over 30 degrees ambient, and this clearly had an effect on tyre wear and degradation: especially with the supersoft.

The supersoft compound set the fastest time of the day with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, but the performance advantage that it has compared to the soft tyre is reasonably small: about 0.6 seconds so far. There’s a clearer gap between the soft and the medium of about 1 second, with all three compounds run today.

This suggests that the soft tyre will be a strong race tyre, although the teams had a good opportunity to assess the supersoft during long runs as well. As usual, the work for teams in FP2 was split between qualifying and race simulations, in order for teams to get an overall picture of wear and degradation with different fuel loads. 

Monza contains the highest top speeds of the year, with the drivers coming close to 360kph at the speed trap at the end of the pit straight. With more grip as the weekend evolves, these impressive speeds are likely only to get even higher.

As was the case at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, each driver had two sets of prototype soft compound tyres for the Friday free practice sessions only, which did not have any colour markings. A useful amount of data has been collected on these, which will be used to assess whether or not to introduce them as race tyres in future.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “We thought that Belgium was hot, but the track temperatures we saw today were even hotter: peaking at 46 degrees centigrade. This will have an effect on tyres, but we have to see what conditions will be like for the remainder of the weekend. Traditionally, a one-stopper has been the winning strategy, but this year we’re introducing the supersoft to Monza for the first time. How that tyre – which is about half a second faster than the soft so far – could perform in the race as part of the overall strategy was a big focus of the work in free practice today.”


FP1 - TIMES    
Rosberg       1m22.959s    Soft New
Hamilton      1m23.162s     Soft New
Raikkonen    1m24.047s    Soft New

FP2 – TIMES
Hamilton      1m22.801s     Supersoft New
Rosberg       1m22.994s    Supersoft New
Vettel           1m23.254s     Supersoft New

FP1 - BEST TIME PER COMPOUND
Medium       Ricciardo       1m28.007s    
Soft              Rosberg        1m22.959s    
Supersoft     Hamilton       1m23.643s    
Prototype     Hamilton       1m24.123s

FP2 - BEST TIME PER COMPOUND
Medium       Rosberg         1m24.569s
Soft              Hamilton       1m23.732s
Supersoft    Hamilton        1m22.801s
Prototype     Bottas           1m25.007s    

LONGEST STINTS OF THE DAY
Soft              Vettel                    27 laps
Medium        Rosberg                23
Supersoft     Gutierrez               22
Supersoft     Raikkonen             22
Prototype    Massa                     11

Tyre statistics of the day:
                                                 Medium      Soft       Supersoft    Prototype Soft
kms driven *                             1001            2895     2148             1256
sets used overall **                  17                41          29                39
highest number of laps **       23               27          22                 11

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
           ** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Minimum prescribed tyre pressures:  23,5 psi (front) and 21,5 psi (rear)

Spotted in the paddock: Bernie Ecclestone. Formula 1’s ringmaster was spotted in the paddock and pitlane, finalising a deal that will keep Monza as part of the world championship for the next three years – just like Pirelli.

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