It was really special arriving at the circuit today knowing that all the great Formula 1 drivers have raced here and today would be my turn to experience the super fast Monza.
With fine and warm weather we started the day with our 3 and a half hour practice 1. This started really well and I was consistently high on the time sheets as I became familiar with the track on our used tyre runs.
At the end of the session, approaching 50 laps, I went out for my new tyre run. Getting a tow is very important for Qualifying here, so managing your placement is crucial. I was positioned well and in the first sector of my flying lap was able to put the quickest time in of anyone, and then I followed this up with a PB in the second sector. From here, a reasonable third sector would have put me on top of the timesheets however unfortunately before I could finish my lap the session was stopped early with a red flag and we were all forced in to the pits. Still, it was a promising start and with nearly 300kms running in that session alone we are confident in the car.
For the second session we completed a simulated race run to check the set up and balance of the car on used tyres which went well.
In the final session, I used another set of new tyres and finished with the fastest first sector again, as well as this time the third, and posted the 4th fastest time. This left me with the 5th quickest time across the combined sessions and a great start to be inside the top 5 after my first day here at Monza!
A massive day of learning with nearly 500kms and 10 sets of tyres now under the belt. Looking forward to the two official practice runs tomorrow!