Schumacher leads opening practice

Michael Schumacher had the fastest time in the first practice session at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Friday.

Schumacher posted a time of 1 minute 25.422 seconds in his Mercedes, edging Jenson Button by 0.301 seconds. Nico Rosberg was third.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest. The Ferrari driver had a technical problem six minutes from the end of the session.

Alonso leads Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel by 24 points in the standings. Vettel was 11th in practice.

Ma Qing Hua, who became the first Chinese driver to take part in an F1 weekend, was slowest of the 24 drivers, nearly six seconds behind Schumacher.