Engine mode ban bares no problems with Mercedes 1-2 in FP1 at Monza
(Photo above by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
  • Mercedes hurdle new rule with ease

Valtteri Bottas started his weekend off very strongly putting his Mercedes top of the timesheet and ending up 0.245 seconds ahead of world championship-leading teammate Lewis Hamilton.

This is no new feat as Bottas has tended to start weekends stronger, it is bringing that performance across the whole weekend that tends to be the struggle.

The Finn is starting to get closer and closer to desperate of a good weekend with Hamilton starting to run away into the distance with the championship. It will be interesting to see if Bottas can translate the performance from FP1 through the rest of the weekend.

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  • Honda best of the rest

Honda has appeared to be best of the rest with Red Bull all season but this weekend Alpha Tauri are there putting all Honda-powered cars in P3, 4, 5 and 6.

Alex Albon ended up in P3 being another driver who needs a strong performance, followed by Daniil Kvyat, the struggling driver from Alpha Tauri, also on the medium tyre which teammate Pierre Gasly was also on, on his way to P6. Max Verstappen and Albon were both on the soft tyres.

Behind the Honda-powered cars, the only cars within a second of the Mercedes is a very tight battle between the McLaren's, Renault's, Racing Point's and Charles Leclerc

This tightness was displayed with Sergio Perez and Lando Norris setting the same time in P7 and P8 and Daniel Ricciardo only 0.042 seconds behind putting three different cars within half a tenth of each other.

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  • Ferrari power and Williams fall again

Behind the ever-tightening midfield and the anomaly of Leclerc pushing his Ferrari higher than expected, is the Ferrari powered cars, again, headed by a non-supplier team car. 

Both Haas cars and both Alfa Romeo's finished the session ahead of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Not only that but stand in rookie Roy Nissany also put his Williams ahead of Vettel as he finished the session P19 only ahead of Nicholas Latifi.

The Ferrari team have never been happier that the Tifosi cannot be there to witness what is going on at the track. The hope of the engine mode rule having an effect is not more prominent anywhere other than the Maranello based team.