Double top for the Silver Arrows on opening day in Monza!
• Lewis topped the times in both practice sessions with Nico finishing second in each
• Both F1 W06 Hybrids ran new Power Units – their third of the season
• Both cars ran the prime (medium) tyre in P1, the prime and option (soft) in P2
Lewis Hamilton – Today was a good day – definitely a testing day in terms of our programme, but a good one. I had a bit of a break in the second session but it was just so the team could check a few spikes in the data and everything was ok in the end. I didn’t particularly hook up the first two sectors this afternoon – they were definitely better in the morning. So, I’m sure there’s some pace to find and I’ll be looking through the data tonight to find it. There’s nothing major – just very small tweaks here and there which might give that bit extra. The car is feeling good and the team are doing a great job – but it’s still very intense out there. We’re working as hard as we can to keep improving and the challenge is always there no matter how fast you are. Now we need to keep it together through the weekend. It should be close with Nico as always so I’m looking forward to a battle.
Nico Rosberg – It’s always great to be back here in Monza. The Tifosi are amazing and I want to thank everybody who gave me a warm welcome and the gifts for the birth of my daughter. The track is very interesting also, with big braking zones, low grip, low chicanes and lots of high speed sections. Today in the quali simulation it was very close with Lewis. It looks like it will be a tough fight between the two of us, so I look forward very much to the weekend. Our car is amazing here and the Mercedes power in the back is strong as always too.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) – It’s great to be back at Monza – a wonderful circuit with a lot of history. The morning session saw a bit of extra tyre work to understand some slightly different settings for this event. We also ran new engines, so there was also some extra work with engine calibration. For the afternoon we ran a normal programme. Lewis did have to stop for a period in the middle of his long run for a precautionary check on his brakes but, other than that, we achieved everything we intended to cover today. Both drivers were happy with the car, which showed good pace, so we look forward to what I’m sure will be an exciting qualifying session tomorrow.