Monza, Free Practice 1: Pantano quickest in the wet
Giorgio Pantano was the quickest in the first Free Practice session in Monza. The track was wet due to rain falling from the early morning and the Italian driver, fielded by the debuting Ombra Racing, immediately got the right feeling: he was often the fastest in the first 30 minutes, and he got a good lap also in the final part of the session, when the rain stopped and the track conditions improved.
Pantano ended the session ahead of Adrien Tambay, quickest of the Charouz-Gravity Racing pack, with the championship leader Romain Grosjean and the Czech talent Jan Charouz behind him. Edoardo Piscopo, Grosjean's main rival for the title, was 6th, ahead of Alexander Sims followed by the Navarra Race 1 winner, Julian Leal.
It was a good debut for Davide Valsecchi, in the top ten despite some gearbox glitches, while Giuseppe Cipriani, the other rookie, opted for a more cautious approach.
Jonny Reid meanwhile was very unlucky, as he didn't manage to post a time: he lost the rear of his car entering in Parabolica on his first lap out of the box, and was stuck in the gravel.
Anyway this shouldn't be a too big disadvantage for him: for the rest of the weekend the weather is expected to be good, so the data gathered by the teams in this session shouldn't be too important. That's also why there's such a big gap in laptimes: considering the situation most of the drivers preferred not to take any risk.
Giorgio Pantano: "Dry or wet makes no difference for me, I love Monza. I was always very quick here, and as soon as I got on track everything was easy. I immediately got back the feeling with the car, and I'm looking forward to a dry session".
Adrien Tambay: "The session was good. When I got on track the first time my car setup was so good that when we stopped a bit to improve it we weren't able to do that. Anyway I don't feel that this session was really useful, as we expect a dry track for the rest of the weekend".
Romain Grosjean: "Monza is among the tracks I love the most, with low downforce the car is quick and it moves a lot, so it's good fun for a driver, even on the wet. Besides this, the ambiance is always great, you can feel that you are racing in a park, and that makes it different from any other circuit in the world".