Long, KERS-friendly, straights. Plenty of slow chicanes. Few really fast corners. Monza looked like McLaren territory on paper, and as practice began it appeared the predictions would be correct. Lewis Hamilton was quickest throughout the first session and was followed by Heikki Kovalainen in a McLaren one-two.
Giancarlo Fisichella acquaints himself with the Ferrari F60 © LAT
Force India impressed again - Adrian Sutil narrowly beating Fernando Alonso's Renault to third, with Nick Heidfeld fifth for BMW.
Jenson Button was the best of the title contenders in seventh, and although his Force India replacement Tonio Liuzzi had outpaced him initially, by the end of the morning Giancarlo Fisichella was the best of those in new overalls for this race, as he took eighth. That was two places higher than his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, but the Italian had been given a leg-up by using soft tyres.
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Matt Beer started freelancing for Autosport.com in the first week of its existence in 1999, and spent the next decade-and-a-half dovetailing increasing amounts of time contributing to it with UK national reporting, driver and team PR, freelance for organisations including ITV, BMW, Autocourse and the FIA Institute and a parallel career co-managing award-winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatres.
He stopped being stubborn and became Autosport.com's deputy editor in April 2014. Matt also oversees Haymarket's talent development programme for emerging motorsport writers and escapes to cover Formula Ford 1600 races whenever possible.