Sutil quickest in very wet first practice

Adrian Sutil emerged fastest for Force India in a very wet opening practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, having been one of the few drivers to set a flying lap when the circuit was vaguely dry

Sutil quickest in very wet first practice

Rain fell for most of the morning at an extremely gloomy Monza, with the track damp initially and only a handful of teams choosing to go out before further showers prevented quick times being set.

Both Force Indias had taken to the track almost immediately, so Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella held an early one-two. They were beaten by Honda's Rubens Barrichello just before the half-hour mark, but then Sutil regained the top spot with a 1:32.842 a few moments before the rain returned in earnest.

Although the precipitation did stop briefly, the track had no chance to dry before a massive downpour began in the final 20 minutes, convincing all those who had ventured out for some wet practice to return to shelter in the pits - although even the garage floors started getting damp as the pitlane drains overflowed.

The session was ultimately officially red-flagged with four minutes remaining due to the severity of the rain, although by that point no-one had attempted to leave the pits for nearly a quarter of an hour.

Behind Sutil, Barrichello and Fisichella, Toyota's Timo Glock set one of the quickest fully wet times to take fourth position, just ahead of Nico Rosberg (Williams) and Fernando Alonso (Renault).

Most of the field managed at least of a handful of laps, with only the McLarens, Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Robert Kubica (BMW) limiting themselves to installation laps.

Kazuki Nakajima also failed to set a time, having lost control of his Williams on the approach to the Lesmos and gone bouncing sideways through the gravel. He returned to the pits and chose not to attempt another flying lap.

The Japanese rookie's incident was the most dramatic of the session, although both Force Indias, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Alonso visited run-off areas, and Sutil and Nelson Piquet had quick spins.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:32.842 18 2. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:33.428 + 0.586 14 3. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:33.695 + 0.853 19 4. Glock Toyota (B) 1:36.800 + 3.958 13 5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:36.900  + 4.058 9 6. Alonso Renault (B) 1:36.965 + 4.123 10 7. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:37.142 + 4.300 20 8. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:37.214 + 4.372 13 9. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:37.392 + 4.550 5 10. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:37.754 + 4.912 13 11. Piquet Renault (B) 1:38.057 + 5.215 11 12. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:38.303 + 5.461 7 13. Button Honda (B) 1:39.062 + 6.220 12 14. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:40.233 + 7.391 5 15. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1 16. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 2 17. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1 18. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1 19. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1 20. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1 All Timing Unofficial 
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