Pirelli race weekend flags-off in Monza, Hamilton proves agile

Friday 16 September 2011, 17:23 PM by

The usual two free practice sessions marked the start of the very popular Pirelli's home race weekend on Friday, the event which was surrounded by the mesmerising beauty of Monza. The all-time favourite Lewis Hamilton managed to finish in the fastest time during the morning session of McLaren, being driven with the P Zero White medium tyres in place. Hamilton set the fastest time record of 1 minute and 23.865 seconds.

On the other hand, the afternoon session saw Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel following the lines of Hamilton by concluding the race with the lowest time of 1 minute and 24.010 seconds. The record got registered while competing in the race that comprised of eight-laps, the cars being driven on the P Zero Yellow soft tyres. The particular session also witnessed Hamilton securing the second spot and legendary Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher ending with the third position. It is the same track that played host for the event that marked the retirement of the seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher back in 2006.

Pirelli race weekend flags-off in Monza, Hamilton proves agile  | CarTrade.com
Pirelli race weekend

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said that “Conditions were particularly tough today because of the heat at Monza as well as the usual high speeds, so we didn’t see much evolution of the track from the morning to the afternoon. Despite this heavy punishment, the tyres performed well – especially with Lewis Hamilton making the most of the cooler conditions in the morning. We’re analysing the data throughout the afternoon, but there appears to be no blistering outside the usual parameters for this circuit.”

As a part of the trend, the drivers made use of the free practice sessions to test and evaluate different fuel loads, along with studying the effects of DRS and KERS. A pertinent aspect that forms a part of the free practice this year is understanding the response provided by the tyres. This would aid in seeking out the best combination of performance, durability and consistency. The tyres though, did not face any criticism and were liked by every team.

Paul Hembery also added that, “From a company point of view, it’s an amazing feeling to be racing here on our home territory and we’ve enjoyed some fantastic support from all the fans here so far. With six drivers within half a second of Sebastian Vettel this afternoon and two extensive DRS zones, it’s going to be a very fast and closely-fought qualifying session tomorrow.”

Pirelli, apart from offering the practice session, also hosted a rare photographic exhibition in the Paddock Club to celebrate more than 100 years of motorsport. The exhibition comprised of unique unseen pictures of previous events and documents displaying Pirelli’s heritage in Formula One and other forms of motorsport events around the world.