At the start of the one-hour session, Nick de Vries led the group out of the pits, running a large aerodynamic gauge behind the front wheels of Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin.
When he pitted the 2021 Formula E champion before setting a lap time – which he would only do near the halfway point where Aston focused on collecting aerodynamic data early – Haas Kevin Magnussen Set the standard for first place at 1m 27.185sec.
This was quickly overcome by a slew of faster times, with Sainz, Esteban Ocon And the Sergio Perez All enjoyed brief stints in the overhead station as the group operated a batch of tire vehicles during the initial run.
At the end of the opening rounds, Verstappen moved into pole position for the first time with 1m25.830s on solid tyres.
Then Perez ran forward again with 1m25.026s, also on white-walled rubber, by Fernando Alonso Move on to the first next time thanks to the 1m24.935s on the hard too.
Verstappen’s opening stroke continued in the first set of difficulties, and he finished the first 10 minutes in pole position thanks to 1m23.449s, which he beat twice before there was a lull in activity ahead of the opening qualifying simulations – the benchmark dropped to a 1m22.853sec.
Yuki Tsunoda He was the first driver to complete an on-court pilot before the near 20-minute lull, but he ended up within a second of Verstappen’s best time on the hardest.
When the excitement heated up again just before the halfway mark, Leclerc led the leaders out on the softcourt and immediately took Verstappen’s pole position with 1m22.410s.
The Red Bull drivers were out on the softcourt a few minutes later, with Perez’s opening attempt to fly a second off the best of Leclerc.
Verstappen, who had a small lock on his outward lap with his new slack on the first track, looked about to beat Leclerc’s time before facing traffic in the last sector.
Lando Norris He was running more than four seconds off the pace on hard tires when Verstappen caught him just before the Ascari chicane and the Briton didn’t move away from Red Bull’s road and drove him to the finish.
There, Verstappen improved his best to finish second but lost 0.7s after McLaren To go from being 0.3s on Leclerc before he catches Norris to 0.4s behind him.
The mercedes The cars were the next on the road, with Brassell ending up 0.5sec behind Leclerc in third after having to pass several slow-moving cars right on his back at the end of his lap.
Hamilton’s first round left him on the courts initially only seventh and a little slower than Leclerc by just over a second as he had to grab a big slide coming out of the second Cheekany and halfway through the Ascari complex.
Russell then completed a second stroke on soft surfaces to lead Verstappen and close 0.279sec slower than Leclerc.
Hamilton then demoted Verstappen as well with 1m22.831s, after Sainz clocked just 0.077 seconds slower than his teammate.
Sainz was running an undefined plan compared to Leclerc then Ferrari Had to work in F1-75 in the pits after the opening laps, with the Spaniard again sending for a high-fuel ride on hard terrain as Leclerc lay in his lap on the soft.
But Sainz’s 1m22.487s nearly matched Leclerc’s time when he was finally able to complete a qualifying initial simulation run before the start of the final quarter of the course.
Verstappen headed back into the lane during the closing stages, but only completed the high-fuel that was going well, thus boosting his fifth-place result.
Ocon finished sixth, ahead of Tsunoda, whose later run closed Leclerc to 0.850sec.
Several teams, including Red Bull, ran different rear wing specs as they began working on the best setup for Monza’s long strait.
Perez’s rear wing was also seen swinging wildly as he ran in the main direction during the early laps, as Red Bull worked on the problem, which also featured in the early rounds of the season, throughout the rest of the session.