This weekend is the 2015 Formula One Italian Grand Prix, which once again is taking place at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The weather isn’t looking too good as conditions are likely to remain gray and overcast for much of the weekend, though things should clear up by Sunday’s race.

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The current forecast for Sunday calls for partly cloudy skies and a peak temperature of 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). The wind speed should remain low with humidity levels expected to hover around 50 percent.

The first free practice session just ended and coming as no surprise was the quickness of the Mercedes AMG drivers. Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets followed closely by teammate Nico Rosberg. Delighting the fans on the day was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who was third quickest, though he was still 1.5 seconds off the pace of the Mercedes men.

Interestingly, several of the teams are making engine changes now in preparation for the remaining races of the season. Teams receiving penalties for engine changes include Infiniti Red Bull Racing, McLaren and Toro Rosso.

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Pirelli has nominated its medium and soft compounds, a step softer than its nomination last year, which should be well suited to Monza and the emphasis on speed that this circuit always places. Of course, with the low downforce the cars will be running, the drivers will need to take care of the tires which will be providing most of the grip.

Going into tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race, Hamilton leads the 2015 Drivers’ Championship with 227 points. Rosberg is second with 199 points and Vettel is third with 160 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 426 points followed by Ferrari with 242 points and Williams with 161 points.


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