• Monza, Friday: Ross: “I’m pleased with our progress over the course of the day.”

The first two practice sessions for the final European race of the 2011 season, the Italian Grand Prix, took place today in warm sunshine at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

Michael and Nico completed a total of 113 laps (655 km) during the two practice sessions, more than two race distances.

Nico’s car had a KERS problem at the start of P2, which required the system to be changed and cost him some track time. His programme was subsequently adapted to focus on race preparation and he did not complete any running on lower fuel.

The fastest time of the afternoon - 1:24.010 - was over a second slower than the fastest time from P2 in 2010 - 1:22.839

“We had two very solid practice sessions today and achieved some good work” said Ross after the second session. “We had a small problem with Nico’s car this afternoon which required the KERS pack to be changed, and the team did a good job to get him out again so quickly. I’m pleased with our progress over the course of the day, and we’re looking forward to a good weekend at this very special race track.”

Norbert described the team’s day as constructive: “Nico had a KERS problem at the beginning of the second session which cost him 10 laps compared to Michael, who completed 39 laps this afternoon including race simulations and one option run on a lower fuel load. The lap times during our race simulation runs looked consistent. Tomorrow, and on Sunday, we can build on the decent base we have found today.”