McLaren headed the first practice times by a full second in Monza.
Lewis Hamilton ended the session quickest ahead of Jenson Button, with Sebastian Vettel 1.3 seconds behind in third.
The session got off to a quiet start with only Jerome d’Ambrosio and Daniel Ricciardo setting times in the first half hour.
Jaime Alguersuari briefly headed the times before Vettel took over at the top with a 1’26.381.
Vettel improved his time by half a second over the following laps before Hamilton set a 1’25.203 to displace him at the top of the times.
Hamilton showed considerable pace, improving his best time to a 1’24.512, over a second quicker than either of the Red Bulls. Button moved up to second, around nine-tenths off Hamilton.
Towards the end of the session Vettel improved his time and split the two McLarens. However Button took the place back with five minutes to go and Hamilton signed off with the fastest lap of the session, a 1’23.865.
Adrian Sutil moved up to fifth ahead of Vitaly Petrov with his last lap. The Renault driver was fastest in a straight line, hitting 347kph in the speed trap.
That pushed Fernando Alonso down to seventh, 2.7 seconds off Hamilton, with Felipe Massa fractionally slower.
Sergio Perez and Jaime Alguersuari completed the top ten.
Lotus had a problematic start to the weekend: Karun Chandhok, driving Jarno Trulli’s car, came into the pits complaining the controls on his wheel weren’t working.
Later on Heikki Kovalainen came to a stop at Lesmo 1 after getting stuck in second gear.
2011 Italian Grand Prix
- Sebastian Vettel named Driver of the Weekend for Monza
- Rate the race result: 2011 Italian Grand Prix
- FIA steward Daly says Schumacher should have had penalty
- 2011 Italian Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Italian GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel poised to clinch second title
- McLaren: Button leads Hamilton home again
- Ferrari: Alonso admits “the title is gone”
- Mercedes: Schumacher fifth after Hamilton battle
- Renault: Senna claims first points finish
Image ?é?® McLaren