The first two practice sessions around the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza have thrown up an interesting mix of times and positions, with the usual suspects - Ferrari and McLaren - at the top, where you'd expect to find them. However, the poor times posted by the Red Bull team, following on from a Belgian Grand Prix where they were below par and lucky to come away with a second place finish for defending world champion Sebastian Vettel, will be a matter of concern for the Austrian team.
Also likely to be in the fray this weekend are the Mercedes and Lotus-Renault teams. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was fastest in the first session and team-mate Nico Rosberg was in the top five for both, for the German outfit. Lotus, who are enjoying a stunning return to the sport, are currently third in the Constructors' Championship, with 207 points to Ferrari's 199. Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean have both finished in the points, consistently, for the team and Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion with Ferrari, was in the top ten throughout Friday. Incidentally, Grosjean has been banned for this race (for his role in the La Source accident in Belgium) and replaced by Jerome d'Ambrosio.
Qualifying Weather Update
Regardless of where every driver is on the grid, the pit lane must be breathing huge sighs of relief at not having to battle heavy rain and waterlogged circuits this time around. The prospect of doing 300km/h into Variante del Rettifilo on a soaking wet track is not an enticing one.
Weather forecasts for Saturday are excellent. Air temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20 degrees Celsius (with a high of 29 degrees Celsius), humidity at 61 percent and, best of all, there is zero chance of precipitation. Qualifying is scheduled for 2pm local time (noon BST) and the temperature through the hour-long session will peak at 28 degrees Celsius, with an outlook of "sunny", from The Weather Channel. MyWeather2 reports slightly higher expected temperatures - shading the wrong side of the 30 degree Celsius mark - but it too rules out any rain on the day.
Where to Watch Live
You can catch all the action live from Monza, Italy, from noon to 2.35pm, on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD. You can also follow the action live and free, via text updates, on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website. Finally, you can catch live radio commentary of the session on BBC Radio 5 live, from 1pm.
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