Italian Grand Prix: Friday Practice RecapSeptember 1, 2023
Round 15 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship commenced with practice on Friday at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy as teams prepared for Sunday’s 53-lap Italian Grand Prix
The weekend marks the second running of the ‘Alternative Tire Allocation’ program – reducing the total number of Pirelli tires supplied to each team from 13 sets to 11 over the event - with drivers only permitted to use set tire compounds in each knock-out session of Saturday’s qualifying.
FP1 saw both MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen run the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium compound exclusively – one set for each driver.
After an initial baseline outing, each VF-23 returned to the track to focus on their respective car balance before finishing off with a third stint – this time a high-fuel run to wrap the session. Hulkenberg set a best time of 1:24.067 (P16) with Magnussen clocking a 1:24.217 (P19).
Both drivers enjoyed a more competitive showing in FP2 later in the day. After an early stint running the White hard compound they switched to Red softs for their respective Quali sims. Hulkenberg posted a fast lap of 1:22.291 to land an encouraging P10 slot on the timesheets with Magnussen directly behind his teammate in P11 – the Dane banking a quick lap of 1:22.574.
The session was bookended by a pair of red flag stops – for Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing) respectively – the latter briefly halting Hulkenberg and Magnussen’s high-fuel, hard tire run to the checkered flag.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team ran a total of 87 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 45 by Magnussen and 42 from Hulkenberg.
“We had a good Friday. We showed a little better pace I think than we have done in recent races, on Friday at least, but we know it’s only Friday. We’ve tried looking good in FP2 before and then in FP3 and qualifying it’s a different story. Nonetheless, it’s been a positive day and of course I hope we can maintain the pace over one lap. Still, on high fuel it didn’t look great but we need to take what we can.”
“FP2 with the long runs were cut short by the red flag, we had two, so they ate into the run plan a little bit and we don’t have all the information and data for Sunday yet. Over one lap, I felt quite confident and good in the car, but we didn’t really get into the high-fuel run, so it’s hard to comment. We know with the alternative tire allocation, we’ll have to see how that changes things. I imagine that will change the dynamic a little bit and make it more difficult for us to survive Q1. That’s the challenge tomorrow, but we’re preparing and getting ready for it.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“It was a strange new FP1 and FP2 because of the alternative tire allocation. You always need to watch out for what other people are doing and try to learn if this continues, and how to do it best with two fewer sets, which is a good way forward I think. In FP1 everyone ran a different program but in FP2, everyone ran at least one set similar and on that set, it was okay for us, better than predicted. As the moment, we need to find a little bit more or hope that others don’t find more.”