Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time in the first practice session of the Italian Grand Prix on Friday, more than half a second ahead of British compatriot Jenson Button at Monza.

Hamilton's Mercedes teammate and championship leader, Nico Rosberg, was third as their intense battle for the Formula One title continues.

In dry but overcast conditions, Hamilton clocked 1 minute, 26.187 seconds on the fastest track on the F1 circuit, as he completed 25 laps.

Button did two laps more with a best time of 1:26.810, with Rosberg 0.808 seconds slower than Hamilton.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso was fourth quickest in his Ferrari, in front of the Italian team's passionate home fans at La Pista Magica (the magic track).