Hamilton fastest in Italian Grand Prix practice

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in today's first practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

The defending Formula One champion timed the quickest lap of 1 minute, 23.936 seconds around the Monza circuit, and McLaren showed its KERS-boosted car is likely to contend after teammate Heikki Kovalainen was second.

Giancarlo Fisichella was nearly eight-tenths of a second off the pace in his first drive for Ferrari since replacing Luca Badoer, finishing eighth and slightly ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Tonio Liuzzi was 16th in his first drive since 2007. Liuzzi replaced Fisichella at Force India after Ferrari contracted the Italian driver for the season's last five races.

Overall F1 leader Jenson Button was seventh with a best lap of 1:24.706.