De la Rosa Quickest in Practice 1 - Italy

De la Rosa Quickest in Practice 1 - Italy

Pedro de la Rosa proved that McLaren have the upper hand already for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix when he dominated Friday's first practice session at Monza.

Test driver de la Rosa completed the session with a time of 1:20.201 to put himself more than one-and-a-half seconds clear of closest challenger Mark Webber, the fastest racing driver.

De la Rosa, however, was unhappy with World Champion Michael Schumacher after the McLaren driver tried to get past the Ferrari before the Parabolica corner. Schumacher nearly blocked de la Rosa and they ran side-by-side down the main straight.

"I don't know what he was doing," said de la Rosa. "We were doing our tyre evaluation and he was slower than me. He was blocking me in the Parabolica and I don't think people should do that kind of stuff in testing."

Webber set a flier in his Williams in the closing stages of what was an extremely quiet session for the few fans who had turned up at the classic track for the opening day.

McLaren secured three of the top four spots when championship challenger Kimi Raikkonen claimed third and Juan Pablo Montoya claimed fourth with a time 1.877 seconds behind de la Rosa.

Nick Heidfeld put the second Williams up into fifth place with Ricardo Zonta, the Toyota test driver, down in sixth having completed a massive 25 laps of the track.

Takuma Sato finished seventh fastest for BAR-Honda, Michael Schumacher pleased the fans with an eighth fastest time for Ferrari with Red Bull Racing duo David Coulthard and Vitantonio Liuzzi completing the top ten.

Monza was bathed in hazy 29-degree sunshine as the session began and McLaren test driver de la Rosa was the early leader after 20 minutes with a lap time of 1:22.122.

With half the session gone there had been little track action with just six drivers setting a lap time and Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan the only race driver in action.

Only ten cars had set a time with 15 minutes to go, de la Rosa putting in a 1:20.792 time to put second-placed Zonta 1.7 seconds adrift, while the Tifosi were still waiting for a sight of their beloved Ferraris.

De la Rosa improved again in the closing stages while teammates Raikkonen and Montoya remained in the garage benefiting from the Spaniard's work on tyre testing.

Schumacher had to take to the escape road on his first lap, after coming onto the track to the sound of air horns, as the race drivers came out to set the last flying laps.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.201 21 2. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:21.816 + 1.615 3 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.842 + 1.641 5 4. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:22.078 + 1.877 6 5. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.351 + 2.150 3 6. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:22.567 + 2.366 25 7. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:22.568 + 2.367 13 8. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:23.739 + 3.538 5 9. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:24.001 + 3.800 4 10. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:24.166 + 3.965 21 11. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:24.196 + 3.995 6 12. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:25.134 + 4.933 12 13. Kiesa Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:25.374 + 5.173 23 14. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.497 + 5.296 11 15. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:25.611 + 5.410 8 16. Doornbos Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.853 + 5.652 11 17. Toccacelo Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.896 + 5.695 17 18. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) No Time 3 19. Button BAR-Honda (M) No Time 2 20. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) No Time 3 21. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 1 22. Alonso Renault (M) No Time 2 23. Fisichella Renault (M) No Time 2 24. Trulli Toyota (M) No Time 1 25. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) No Time 1 All timing unofficial 
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