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Italian GP: Nico Rosberg leads Mercedes one-two in first practice

Nico Rosberg spearheaded a Mercedes one-two in first practice for Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix

Rosberg posted a lap of 1m22.959s around Monza on Pirelli's soft compound tyre, finishing 0.203 seconds ahead of reigning champion and current points leader Lewis Hamilton.

The duo had traded fastest laps earlier in the session when running the rule over the super-soft compound tyre that initially appeared to be more robust at this track than was the case at Spa Francorchamps in last week's Belgian GP.

Rosberg and Hamilton were again comfortably ahead of their rivals, led by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 1.088s down, with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel a further quarter of a second off the pace in fourth. Both set their times on soft tyres.

It was a busy session for both Rosberg and Hamilton, finishing joint first and third on the lap completion charts, posting 37 and 36 laps respectively, with Valtteri Bottas in his Williams also out in front with 37 laps.

Ferrari's Raikkonen and Vettel managed 16 and 17 laps respectively as the team limited mileage on the new power unit it has introduced this weekend, spending the final three development tokens of its allocation in doing so, while carrying out checks.

Force India's Sergio Perez was a strong fifth on super-soft tyres, as the team continued its top-five form from Spa last weekend.

His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg gave way to reserve Alfonso Celis Jr, who claimed 12th place, 2.408s behind Rosberg, and three quarters of a second behind Perez.

With Haas also sporting the new Ferrari updated power unit, Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez were sixth and ninth, three tenths of a second apart, with the duo also on super-softs like Perez.

Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen split the Haas pair, the latter two seconds down, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo rounding off the top 10, 0.138s behind his teenage team-mate, with all three running soft compound rubber.

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso finished either side of Celis, although the latter ended the session by crawling back into the pits with a gearbox problem.

Felipe Massa, who announced his retirement from F1 on Thursday, suffered a boost issue with his Williams-Mercedes on his installation lap. That confined him to the garage for the majority of the opening 45 minutes before he emerged to finish 14th quickest, nearly three seconds behind Rosberg.

As part of the ongoing assessment of the halo, Button, Verstappen and Perez all ran. Button was the only one to keep it on for a second lap.

Pirelli's new prototype tyre it is hoping to introduce for the Malaysian GP at the start of October was also given extensive running by a number of drivers as part of its ongoing evaluation.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.959s - 37
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.162s 0.203s 36
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.047s 1.088s 16
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m24.307s 1.348s 17
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m24.650s 1.691s 32
6 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m24.763s 1.804s 17
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m24.785s 1.826s 37
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m24.982s 2.023s 25
9 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m25.113s 2.154s 19
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m25.120s 2.161s 17
11 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m25.351s 2.392s 23
12 Alfonso Celis Force India/Mercedes 1m25.367s 2.408s 30
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m25.507s 2.548s 14
14 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m25.840s 2.881s 18
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m25.853s 2.894s 20
16 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m25.973s 3.014s 20
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m26.074s 3.115s 20
18 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m26.391s 3.432s 30
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m26.439s 3.480s 21
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m26.762s 3.803s 28
21 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m26.811s 3.852s 35
22 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m26.956s 3.997s 32

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