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Ferrari on Top at Monza After Ericsson Crash

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson crashes during practice  for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson crashes during practice  for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Sebastian Vettel suffered a spin but Ferrari were still first and second in practice for their home Italian Grand Prix on Friday while Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson walked away from a spectacular crash.

Vettel, hoping to make further inroads into Lewis Hamilton’s 17-point Formula One championship lead this weekend, lapped the Monza circuit near Milan with a best time of one minute 21.105 seconds.

According to Reuters, Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen gave the Ferrari fans a further boost with the second-best time, 0.270 slower than Vettel.

Mercedes’s Hamilton - last year’s race winner - was third quickest and 0.287 off the pace set by his fellow four-times world champion.

The main drama on a damp and overcast afternoon was provided by Ericsson.

Ericsson’s Sauber hit a wall and rolled three times after it appeared his DRS failed to close under braking. The car came to a standstill the right way up and Ericsson was helped out of his car by marshals.

The session was halted for 20 minutes for a track cleanup while Ericsson went to the medical center and was given a clean bill of health.

Vettel spun off at Parabolica later but without significant damage. He kept the engine running and returned to the pits before resuming.

Heavy rain just before the morning practice saw neither of the title contenders do many laps, with Force India’s Sergio Perez leading through the spray with a best effort of 1:34.000.

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