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Summary

  1. Hamilton fastest in first practice
  2. Button 2nd, Rosberg 3rd, Alonso 4th
  3. Hamilton & Rosberg resume rivalry
  4. Italy's iconic Monza plays host
  5. Rosberg leads Hamilton by 29 points
  6. Second practice follows at 13:00

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

    If Lewis Hamilton is to win this year's world title, he's going to have to do it the hard way. You have to go back to Spain in May to find a weekend where Hamilton went through all three days without any problems.

    Today, it was a hydraulics issue, but he recovered to finish second fastest. Will his luck change tomorrow? Join me from 09:30 to find out. Until then, it's a very good afternoon from me. Cheerio.

  2. Post update

    Here's Andrew Benson's report, with video highlights of that session expected online later this afternoon.

  3. Post update

    So it's all shaping up rather nicely for qualifying tomorrow with hardly anything to choose between Mercedes team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

    There's one more hour of practice to tinker with the cars before qualifying. That starts at 10:00 BST, with the live text kicking off at 09:30. The battle for pole follows at 13:00 BST, with the action live on BBC One from 12:10.

  4. Post update

    BBC F1's David Coulthard: Interesting how many drivers are missing braking zones, always difficult over 210mph but it seems especially tricky this year.

  5. Question of Sport teaser

    Earlier, I posted today's F1-themed Question of Sport teaser which asked: Since 1970, which eight F1 drivers whose surnames end in a vowel have won the Italian GP at #Monza?

    The answers are: Alonso, Andretti, Barrichello, Fittipaldi, Lauda, Montoya, Regazzoni and Senna.

  6. Post update

    So Nico Rosberg will probably end the day the happier of the two Mercedes drivers, but at least Lewis Hamilton got some running towards the end of the session.

    Williams traditionally run more fuel on Fridays and look very strong, with McLaren having one of their better days, too.

  7. SECOND PRACTICE RESULTS

    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Raikkonen 4) Alonso 5) Bottas 6) Button 7) Vettel 8) Magnussen 9) Massa 10) Ricciardo 11) Perez

    12) Hulkenberg 13) Kvyat 14) Gutierrez 15) Vergne 16) Sutil 17) Bianchi 18) Maldonado 19) Chilton 20) Grosjean 21) Kobayashi 22) Ericsson

  8. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "Williams look to be quickest on the long runs, with Mercedes second quickest. However, I'm sure Mercedes will have a bit more in their pocket for qualifying."

  9. CHEQUERED FLAG

    nico rosberg

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

  10. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is back out and running with high fuel for the final part of the session. He's second quickest, behind team-mate Nico Rosberg with Kimi Raikkonen third and Fernando Alonso fourth.

  11. Post update

    Italian GP

    Jenson Button has a big lock-up on the rundown at Turn One, forcing him to dive down the escape road and ruining the lap.

  12. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton goes quickest in the first two sectors, but hits traffic in the third and final sector and can't improve. The Briton dives into the pits and asks for some tweaks to front end of his Mercedes.

  13. Post update

    It's cleaner for Lewis Hamilton on the next lap, but it's not quite good enough to take top spot. The Britain moves into second, 0.061 seconds behind team-mate Nico Rosberg.

  14. Post update

    It's the medium tyres for Lewis Hamilton now, but he makes a mistake on his first flying lap at Turn One, outbraking himself and going deep into the corner before recovering.

  15. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton's first timed lap is good enough for 12th, 1.1 seconds off the pace on the hard tyres.

  16. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is out on track. At last.

  17. Post update

    Mercedes say they have changed some sensors after an electrical problem prevented the team from starting Lewis Hamilton's car.

  18. Post update

    italian gp

    Lewis Hamilton has just climbed into the cockpit of his car. It seems it was an electrical issue but speedy work from his Mercedes crew mean he'll get about half an hour of running time.

  19. Post update

    Kimi Raikkonen pops into second, less than a tenth behind Nico Rosberg but two tenths quicker than Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso.

  20. Get involved

    #bbcf1

    Andy Dicks: Can't the crew just bump start Lewis? #mk1escortstandardprocedure

    Simon Lord: Just give Hamilton Rosberg's car and see what happens?

    Couch Commentator: Alonso to Red Bull, Vettel to McLaren, Button to Ferrari. That would please me.

  21. Post update

    italian gp

    Romain Grosjean runs wide at the Lesmo corners and takes a trip across the gravel before realising rallycross isn't for him and rejoining the track.

  22. Post update

    italian gp

    Jennie Gow reports that Mercedes co-team boss Toto Wolff says it'll be around 30 minutes before Lewis Hamilton will be back out on track. That will only give him 15 minutes on track during this 90-minute session.

  23. Post update

    Nico Rosberg improves his lead at the top of the charts after going quicker on the medium compound tyres. That's half a second quicker than Valtteri Bottas with Jenson Button a few thousandths further back in third.

  24. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes: Far from ideal situation but the guys are working very hard here. A lot of cameras pointed at this man right now!

  25. Post update

    italian gp

    "I looked at the cars, they look pretty sexy, but I'm really happy where I am," says Juan Pablo Montoya, who currently races in Indycar in the United States. "F1's changed in terms of technology, but the paddock looks the same - just bigger. It's fun to see all of the old faces."

    When asked if he'll ever come back, Montoya says: "Only to watch!"

  26. Post update

    Sergio Perez bolts on a set of medium tyres, which are the option rubber this weekend, and then heads out on track. Expect the times to drop as everyone else does the switch before turning their attention to long run race simulations.

  27. Post update

    italian gp

    Mercedes have created a wall of mechanics to shield Lewis Hamilton's car from prying eyes as they carry out work - presumably on something they don't want the world to see.

  28. Post update

    Marc Webber

    BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry: Woohoo...Mark Webber on our show tomorrow! BBC One, 12.10 BST.

  29. Get involved

    #bbcf1

    WelshRacer: Oh goody, Hamilton has a problem.

    Graham McMurray: McLaren going better, Ron should keep Kevin and Jenson waiting longer on contracts for next year.

    Rosemary Mackenzie: What will Vettel's race number be next season? Can't see it being #1 now.

  30. Post update

    italian gp

    Lewis Hamilton is the only driver yet to have set a lap time in this session. He's currently sat at the back of the garage, sunglasses on, chatting to a guest and managing to smile.

  31. Post update

    So Nico Rosberg leads by 0.004 seconds quicker than Fernando Alonso, with Jenson Button third and Kevin Magnussen fourth. Sebastian Vettel is fifth with Valtteri Bottas sixth.

  32. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    Montoya

    "There has been a lot of talk about the potential straight-line speeds here this weekend, given the generally higher speeds seen this year with the new cars. Could they approach the all-time record of 372km/h (233mph) set in Monza by Juan Pablo Montoya's McLaren in 2005? Jenson Button thinks not. 'That was in a V10 car with 900bhp,' he said, adding that he thinks the straight-line kings Williams will probably reach 355km/h (221mph)."

  33. Post update

    BBC F1 pit-lane Tom Clarkson reports that Lewis Hamilton's car won't start and they have taken the floor off to take a closer look at the engine.

    Hamilton, who has not had a smooth weekend since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, has his arms folded and is stood examining the data screens.

  34. Post update

    It's advantage Nico Rosberg in the battle of the Mercedes as the German goes quickest with a 1:27.005, a few thousandths quicker than McLaren's Kevin Magnussen.

  35. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is rummaging around in one of the tool drawers at the back of the garage. Maybe he wants to pitch in and help his mechanics fix his car. The floor has just come off so this could take some time.

  36. Post update

    Daniel Ricciardo outbrakes himself at Turn One - which is the biggest braking point of the year - running wide, but slows enough to avoid having to bounce over the sleeping policemen.

  37. Post update

    No sign of Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso as yet. Meanwhile, Kevin Magnussen is top of the pile, the Dane clocking a 1:27.634 which is three tenths quicker than the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg in second.

  38. Post update

    Mercedes: The sun does look like it's coming out! This is more like the #Monza we remember!

  39. Post update

    Sergio Perez is the early pace-setter, the Mexican clocking a 1:28.270, 0.282 seconds quicker than the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

  40. GO! GO! GO!

    Here we go, then. It's time for Italian Grand Prix second practice.

  41. Post update

    Lots of familiar faces in the Monza paddock this weekend, ex-Renault boss Flavio Briatore, former Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya and ex-Williams and Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen to name a few.

  42. Post update

    McLaren: #OnThisDay in '76 James Hunt raced Formula Atlantic at Trois-Rivières & discovered Gilles Villeneuve. #RestIsHistory

  43. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    Fernando Alonso

    "Ferrari are having their least competitive year since 1994 and Fernando Alonso has admitted this is his worst season there in five - even worse than 2011, when he took a sole win at Silverstone as a result of a one-off rule change. Traditionally, Ferrari are able to pull out sometime special on home ground, but the prospects seem remote this year.

    "Alonso said Monza was 'probably the worst kind of circuit for us', adding: 'Definitely we must try and have our best race of the year in front of the home crowd. We know what a great experience it is to stand on the podium at Monza, seeing the straight packed with people. I've been lucky enough in these last four years with Ferrari to get to the podium four times and it would be fantastic to make it five. It's a very optimistic goal because unfortunately this year, we haven't been on the podium too often. We must be realistic, as this will be another defensive and uphill race for us, but anything can happen.'"

  44. Post update

    Allan McNish and James Allen

    Allan McNish and James Allen will be your commentary team when the action gets under way on BBC Two at 13:00 BST. You can watch online, too, via the console at the top of this page.

  45. Question of Sport teaser

    Today's Question of Sport teaser is Formula 1 themed, so I thought I'd throw it out there. Since 1970, which eight F1 drivers whose surnames end in a vowel have won the Italian GP at #Monza? Tweet #bbcf1 and #QSTeaser with your answers.

  46. Post update

    Vettel

    Red Bull: Sebastian's lid design used during FP1 today was inspired by 'Dazzle Camouflage' used in car testing.

  47. Post update

    Christian Horner (left) and Daniel Ricciardo do a little cooking

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner and Daniel Ricciardo took some time out from their Monza preparations to don an apron - and in Ricciardo's case a oversized chef's hat - for a cook-off with varying levels of success...

  48. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is in good form in his latest BBC Sport as he discusses the Belgian Grand Prix collision with his team-mate, the debrief back at base, his holiday with friends in Sardinia and a night at the GQ Men of the Year awards. You can read all about it on the F1 pages.

  49. Post update

    Afternoon everybody and welcome to live coverage of second practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Lewis Hamilton kicked off the weekend in style by setting the quickest lap in first practice. His Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was third.

  50. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger

    Lewis Hamilton was mixing it with the A-listers on Tuesday night as he attended the GQ Men of the Year awards in London.

    The Brit hung out with the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Kim Kardashian, Sam Smith, Jonah Hill and, of course, his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger before accepting the Sportsman of the Year award.

    Will he add the world title to that accolade later this year? Possibly - but he's got plenty of work to do...

  51. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton

    Eyes on the prize. It was the perfect start to the weekend for Lewis Hamilton, who will hope to end the day on top, take pole position tomorrow and then run off into the distance come Sunday afternoon as he bids to claw back the 29-point deficit to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. Can he keep the ball rolling? Join us for second practice to find out. See you in a bit.

  52. Post update

    So that's one session down for the day, one to go. That starts at 13:00 BST, with live coverage on BBC Two. The live text will resume at 12:30.

  53. Post update

    What's the cost of improved form? Several million pounds if you're Williams. The team announced losses of more than £20m for the first six months of the year.

    "We had a couple of options at the end of last year, which was save our way in to success - which I think was eventually death - and painful," said Williams CEO Mike O'Driscoll. "The other was spend, but spend sensibly."

    It's proved to be a good call, with Valtteri Bottas fifth in the drivers' standings and the team on course for increased F1 commercial rights revenues as well as better hopes of more sponsorship on the back of improved form.

  54. Get involved

    #bbcf1

    Nicola Crook: Glad Button's second. Love Jenson. He deserves some luck!

    Ian Dixon: Would be good if it looked like that on Sunday.

    Denis D: Everyone's talking Rosberg and Hamilton. Battle of the season for me has been Alonso vs Ricciardo. Amazing wheel to wheel action.

  55. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    "The man who is most directly impacted by Fernando Alonso's status and McLaren's desire to sign him is Jenson Button. And the Englishman admitted he was 'bored' by questions about it. He said Alonso's apparent commitment to Ferrari 'doesn't change anything', insisting the Spaniard was 'always going to stay for next year'.

    "Button said he was confident he would stay at McLaren for the start of their new engine partnership with Honda in 2015. 'Hopefully the future will be positive and will take the course I think it will and have thought it will all year,' he said. 'I have no worries there. I really do feel I will be racing here next year."

  56. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "McLaren have got straight-line speed and they've been working on development. They have improved in the last few races, but it's not really a true picture. I expect Williams to be much quicker, once they take the fuel out."

  57. Post update

    Good effort from rookie Roberto Merhi on his debut in Caterham. The 23-year-old struggled to get to grips with the car earlier on, but was a quicker learner and ended the session fastest than his more experienced team-mate Marcus Ericsson. He'll now hand the car back to Kamui Kobayashi for the remainder of the weekend.

  58. FIRST PRACTICE RESULT

    1) Hamilton 2) Button 3) Rosberg 4) Alonso 5) Magnussen 6) Vettel 7) Raikkonen 8) Perez 9) Kvyat 10) Hulkenberg 11) Gutierrez

    12) Bottas 13) Massa 14) Vergne 15) Van der Garde 16) Ricciardo 17) Juncadella 18) Maldonado 19) Chilton 20) Bianchi 21) Pic 22) Merhi 23) Ericsson

  59. CHEQUERED FLAG

    Lewis Hamilton finishes fastest in first practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

  60. Post update

    italian gp

    Sergio Perez of Force India gets out of shape underbraking on the approach to Ascari and decides to back out of it, skating across the gravel before rejoining.

  61. Post update

    Big lock up for Valtteri Bottas at Parabolica, but there's no harm done and he continues. The Finn is currently 12th, 0.002 seconds quicker than Williams team-mate Felipe Massa.

  62. Post update

    Daniil Kvyat has been the busiest driver in this session so far, the Russian clocking 27 laps in the Toro Rosso. In contrast, Sergio Perez has managed just seven. Lewis Hamilton has done 17, while Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg have 21 apiece on the board.

  63. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton makes a mistake at Ascari and decides to back off and take to the run-off, waving to the fans in the grandstand before rejoining.

  64. Post update

    With 70 minutes gone, Sergio Perez finally sets a timed lap, the Mexican going 15th quickest, 0.15 seconds slower than Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. Perez missed the first half hour of the session while Dani Juncadella had a spin and then had to wait while the team got the car set back up for him.

  65. Post update

    italian gp

    Lewis Hamilton sets personal bests in the first and second sectors before clocking the fastest third sector of all to move to the top of the pile with a 1:26.547, a quarter of a second ahead of former team-mate Jenson Button.

  66. Post update

    With 25 minutes remaining, Jenson Button leads the way from Lewis Hamilton with Nico Rosberg. Button's quickest time is just over a second slower than the fastest time in this session last year, set by Hamilton.

  67. Post update

    More good news for McLaren - Jenson Button goes quickest with a 1:126.810. The Brit sets the fastest first and second sector times on the next lap before backing off in the third.

  68. Post update

    Italian GP

    Interesting that McLaren are current Mercedes' closest challengers at the moment. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lead the way, with McLaren's Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen third and fourth.

    The McLaren Group announced a swing back into the black on Thursday, with a £18.8m pre-tax profit last year.

    Meanwhile, their 2015 engine supplier Honda also said they're confident of matching Mercedes when they return to the sport next.

    Positive signs for McLaren, then, after one-and-a-half very disappointing seasons.

  69. Post update

    Italian GP

    "My headrest has come off," reports McLaren's Kevin Magnussen. Not ideal for the Dane, who has to back off down the back straight and abandon his run before retreating back to the pits. A couple of mechanics give the headrest a shake and then decide to discard it and replace it with a new one.

  70. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    "This being Italy, there is great focus on Ferrari, and especially its lead driver Fernando Alonso. It is no secret that the Spaniard is being courted heavily by McLaren, and this week he has done a number of media interviews in which he has on the face of it pledged his future to his current team for the duration of his current contract in 2016. But his answers have been more nuanced than some would have you believe.

    "In one, before arriving here, he used the politician's 'at the moment' after saying it was 'not my intention to move'. And he was no more definitive on Thursday: 'My intention is to be with them and to win with Ferrari. My priority is to win a world championship and I have two more years with Ferrari and we need to create this project to come back to the top and if nothing happens it should be with Ferrari this year.' The strong likelihood is that he will stay put, though."

  71. Get involved

    #bbcf1

    Char: Anyone else getting bored of the Hamilton & Rosberg drama?! Just get on with it!

    David Dobson: I like this positive talk about Valtteri Bottas & Daniel Ricciardo. I think Nico Rosberg & Lewis Hamilton been talked to death.

    Rob Kellow: Loving seeing my Twitter feed full of F1 buzz again! Two weeks is a long time.

  72. Post update

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    "Rosberg has never had a podium finish here in Monza. Hamilton has won here in 2012."

  73. Post update

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel weaves down the long back straight on the approach to Parabolica as he warms up for a timed lap. The reigning world champion is currently seventh, 0.868 seconds off the pace.

  74. Post update

    Nico Hulkenberg says his Force India team are just doing a routine floor change but he should be back out in 15 minutes. When asked where he's going to be driving next season, the German replies: "Here (Force India), I think."

  75. Post update

    At last, we've got some cars back on track with Roberto Merhi heading out in the Caterham with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat.

  76. Post update

    italian gp

    Nice touch from Pastor Maldonado who has put pictures of wife Gabriela, a Venezuelan journalist, his daughter Victoria who is one this month and himself.

    It's not going so well in this session, the 29-year-old currently 18th, two tenths slower than Charles Pic who has stepped into team-mate Romain Grosjean's car for this session.

  77. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    "Red Bull were not expecting to be as competitive as they were in Spa, even if it took problems for the Mercedes drivers to open the door for Daniel Ricciardo to win. Red Bull are using the same phrase here about their prospects as they did in Spa - 'damage limitation'. I pointed this out to Ricciardo and he gave his trademark big grin and said: 'Yeah, it worked well.'

    "But he added that he did not expect the same here because of the different natures of the circuit. At Spa the team could run small wings and use their strong underbody downforce to be fast in the middle sector and still have good overall lap pace, at Monza there are fewer corners so 'everyone runs minimum downforce and unfortunately we will probably see the top speeds separate a little bit and we'll probably fall behind'."

  78. Post update

    The track has fallen silent, with Lewis Hamilton still leading the way. Over at Force India, the team are busy tweaking one of the cars so that Sergio Perez can get back behind the wheel after Dani Juncadella had a spin in the first half hour.

  79. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas run wide at Parabolica, the final corner. They get away with it this year because the gravel trap has been replaced by asphalt.

  80. Get involved

    #bbcf1

    Tone720: Uh oh, have Merc put their 2 cars out together? Clearly learned NOTHING then. #Fail

    Marc: Look how wide they're taking parabolica. RUINED.

    Mark Cranston: Disgraceful Tarmacing the edge of Parabolica. All run-offs should be Astro-Turf if gravel is declining. At least it's a deterrent.

  81. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton leads the way with a 1:27.064, just 0.007 seconds ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with McLaren's Jenson Button just under a tenth further back in third.

  82. Post update

    It's not easy to drive an F1 car, as Roberto Merhi is finding out. The Spaniard, who is currently racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series and won the 2011 Formula 3 Euro series, is driving a Caterham for this session.

    The team tell him that he's pressing the DRS button too early and he needs to be less aggressive on the brake pedal.

  83. Post update

    Lots of sparks flying from the rear of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari as puts the hammer down on his first timed effort. Lots of support for the scarlet team at Monza, of course, with a sea of red dominating the grandstands.

  84. Post update

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are out on track and circulating within a few hundred metres of each other. Expect to see their opening salvos shortly.

  85. Post update

    We've got a few lap times on the board, but they're nothing to write home about. Jean-Eric Vergne leads the way with a time of 1:30.511, with Jenson Button seven tenths off the pace in second.

  86. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    Kamui Kobayashi

    "Kamui Kobayashi is back in the Caterham this weekend after being replaced by Andre Lotterer at Spa after the German sportscar driver turned down another go when the team would not let him run in first practice, on account of having already sold the seat to Spanish rising star Roberto Merhi.

    "Kobayashi, who has no idea whether he will race for the team again, has admitted the situation is unsettling. Asked what was going on in terms of the driver situation at the team, he said: 'I have same question to boss. I missed Spa, come back for Monza, but don't know for the future.

    "'I try to race for the rest of the season and for this week I think I am here for the race. I need to be confident. We have some updates. I am quite excited. I definitely have a contract to the end of the season. The situation is not nice, but this is Formula 1.'

    "Merhi has a strong record in the junior categories but in F1 has so far attracted less attention for his driving than for his luxuriant hairdo, which has been likened to that of '80s Grange Hill character Tricia Yates."

  87. Post update

    Everyone has popped out for an installation lap before diving back into the pits. Giedo van der Garde is in for Adrian Sutil for this session at Sauber while Roberto Merhi has a shot at Caterham, with Kamui Kobayashi making way until FP2.

  88. Post update

    We've got the hard and medium tyres this weekend, the harder compounds in use to cope with the huge braking demands that Monza presents.

  89. Post update

    Dani Juncadella is in at Force India - but only for the first 30 minutes. The Spaniard will then hand the car back to regular race driver Sergio Perez for the reminder of the session.

  90. GO! GO! GO!

    It's time to get down to business, folks. Let first practice begin...

  91. BBC COVERAGE

    Lee McKenzie and Allan McNish are live on BBC Two, ahead of live and uninterrupted coverage of first practice. Weather update? It's dry but cloudy.

  92. STANDINGS

    Nico RosbergleadsLewis Hamilton by 29 points with Daniel Ricciardo 35 further back. Fernando Alonso is fourth, 35 adrift with Valtteri Bottas a superb fifth.

    In the constructors', Mercedes are running away with it on 411 points, a massive 157 clear of Red Bull with Ferrari 94 further back.

  93. Post update

    Italian gp

    Lewis Hamilton is in the Mercedes garage preparing for first practice. The Briton carefully positions his balaclava on his head, slides on his helmet and then heads over to his office.

    On Tuesday, he tweeted: "My aim this weekend is to claw back the gap in the Drivers' Championship. I won't give up until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi."

  94. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    "The battle between the Mercedes drivers, and the fluctuating fortunes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the last few races, has brought Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo within some form of firing range in the championship. The Australian has actually scored more points in the last six races than either Mercedes driver, but he played down his title hopes here on Thursday.

    "Can you nick the championship, he was asked? 'Yeah, I can,' Ricciardo replied, 'but it's obviously going to take probably more than just winning the next seven races. It's going to take a bit of luck as well. I'm more than two wins behind Nico. I win two and he DNFs, I'm still behind. There more talk about it now but to be honest I'm not really thinking about it. I'm answering all the questions about the championship but I'm not really thinking about it. If I can go out there and keep winning, that's awesome.'"

  95. Post update

    Toro Rosso

    Toro Rosso: Getting ready for FP1

  96. Post update

    Felipe Massa

    BBC Radio 5 live's Allan McNish joined Williams' Felipe Massa on his trackwalk yesterday as part of the preview show. You can hear from the Brazilian as well as Mercedes co-team boss Toto Wolff by listening to the podcast here.

  97. Post update

    Of course, we're not just here to talk about the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. There's the small matter of Friday practice to consider.

    The first session starts at 09:00 BST and will be live on BBC Two and online. The second session follows at 13:00.

    Both last 90 minutes, with the teams given an extra set of tyres which can only be used in the first half hour to encourage drivers to head out on track and improve the show for the fans.

  98. HAMILTON V ROSBERG RECAP

    So to recap, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's rivalry took a turn twist last time out at Spa when Rosberg's front wing punctured Hamilton's left-rear tyre when he hit the back of the car on the second lap when battling for the lead.

    Hamilton ultimately retired following the damage while the German finished second to extend his lead in the drivers' standings to 29 points. Rosberg was booed on the podium and Hamilton later revealed that during a post-race meeting, his team-mate said he had crashed into him on purpose.

    Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said Rosberg's driving was absolutely unacceptable and he was later punished by the team as he accepted responsibility for the crash, with both drivers warned another similar incident "will not be tolerated". And on Thursday, Wolff told BBC Sport that trhey would consider dropping Hamilto or Rosberg if they cannot race together cleanly.

  99. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monza

    Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton

    "This race does not need any extra spice to create one of the best weekends of the year, on one of the great tracks, but it has it anyway this weekend. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg sat through a tense news conference on Thursday, with Fernando Alonso between them. There were some amusing moments, especially when someone joked that Alonso could be an ambassador for peace between the two.

    "But while the two Mercedes drivers have been forced by their team to sit down and talk through the aftermath of their collision at the Belgian Grand Prix, it will be in the background of everything they do this weekend. Everyone is waiting for the next big turning point in their relationship, amid an already fascinating title battle."

  100. Post update

    Monza

    Morning everybody and a very warm welcome to live coverage of first practice for the Italian Grand Prix at La Pisa Magica (the magic track) otherwise known as the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

  101. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

    Behave or you're out. That's essentially the ultimatum Mercedes sent out to their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on Thursday in the aftermath of their collision in Belgium. Will they listen? I can't wait to find out.