Wherever else would Octane Photographic be other than at the electric filled air of Monza! Unlike Spa two weekends ago, there is no prospect of rain forecast for the weekend only sun filled with bright clear blue skies and roasting heat.
Arriving at the entrance to the track the present of Ferrari greets every fan, this is their home and the atmosphere which they cast is the most trilling though you may support one of the other 11 teams.
If Ferrari end on a podium this weekend they will be making history of their 20th win at this iconic track and 150th year of running, it can be said that they are the team under the most pressure this weekend. Every supporter which has come to cheer them on want this win as much as the team.
In the media centre is over looking the start/finish straight, the hearts which Alonso and Ferrari has captured show, with their homemade banners showing support or by the flags purchased as the fans arrived to the track. Over looking Lotus Renault garage, you can feel vibrations run through you as the engines start up and they drive down the pit lane, the sound proof windows take a slight edge off the sound of roaring V8 engines below.
On Friday morning, a few of the teams were running upgrade packages, Virgin Racing have updated their rear wing also Lotus Renault and Toro Rosso were testing pieces too.
Lotus Renault have been successful in getting two new partnerships, one with the Auden Mckenzie Pharmaceutical Group which operate three different companies which have signed with Lotus Renault for the rest of the 2011 season. Also they have gained a partnership with leading brand Gillette who are leading in the market for personal care and razor safety, with these new linkings, the hope is that Lotus will shave off seconds gaining on their next rival. Lotus Renault was not the only team to land new sponsorship for this race, Toro Rosso has a new sponsor Cepsa.
The excitement of P1 got underway, the session saw the teams putting in good timed laps on track. The main thing which the drivers were missing were the Apex of turn 2 also a few drivers missed the 2nd chicane. Heikki Kovalainen was putting in great times in his Team Lotus until a gearbox problem struck meaning that he would not be able to finish his session. D’Ambrosio had a problem with an engine problem which meant that he had to stop on turn 1, his team mate Timo had a frustrating time on track this session with a sensor problem in the exhaust system. Alonso also had to finish his session early due to cut found on the left rear type.
The teams were trying their best to use the single set of hard compound rubber per driver which had to be handed back after session. The hard compound was working well for McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton which saw him seemly back on form at the top of the time sheets at the end of the session with 1:23.865 with a small gap of .921 between himself and his team mate, Button, finishing in front of the two Red Bulls.
Nico Hulkenburg had the Friday morning running in Paul Di Resta’s seat this morning which he proved that he could climb up the time sheets finishing on a strong 12th place. Karun Chandhok also had time out on track this morning in the Team Lotus which saw him sitting on 20th place on a time of 1.30.14.
The session was successful for many of the teams, Lewis Hamilton topped the timing sheets, showing that the McLaren driver maybe back on form after Spa a race he would rather forget.