Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest in second practice session at Monza


The Italian Grand Prix is ​​live on 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sport website

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the second practice session at the Italian Grand Prix, as Mercedes dominated again.

Hamilton was 0.262 seconds faster than teammate Valtteri Bottas after completing laps in the back row, each trying to take advantage of a wake.

Daniel Ricciardo finished third in Renault but had his lap time suppressed for racing off track at Parabolica.

McLaren’s Lando Norris took the place with a late lap after engine problems.

Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri finished fourth ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc was the fastest Ferrari in ninth, but bemoaned the radio traffic after finishing his lap.

The Monegasque, who took pole and won the race in 2019, was one of the few drivers to have a final lap in qualifying last year as the drivers stumbled trying not to be the first in the waiting line.

Returning to Monza a year later, in a much less competitive position, Leclerc called the traffic a “disaster”, although admitted: “It’s good training for qualifying”.

Keep an eye out for Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo this weekend – he should be very quick

His teammate Sebastian Vettel finished 12th and took a lap to the first Lesmo in his simulated race later in the session, the most serious of a number of off track or out of control incidents for the four time. champion throughout the day.

Leclerc had what was close to a similar moment at the same turn shortly after, but managed to catch it without turning, despite having left the track.

“The car is so hard to drive,” Leclerc said over the radio immediately after.

Hamilton heads into the weekend 48 points ahead of Verstappen in the championship and just two wins to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 wins.

“It felt like we had made improvements from P1 to P2,” said Hamilton. “P1 didn’t feel great. Everything is low, so a lot of slippage. It’s going to be close between a group of people, I think.

“It’s a pretty bumpy track so it’s about trying to get the right balance with the bumps and the balance between high speed and slow speed, we have a few more steps to go and that will be where I need it. “

Hamilton added that he expected qualifying to be “a nightmare” when it comes to traffic and everyone trying to create the right space for themselves for their lap.

Verstappen crashed in early practice in the morning and was just over a second slower than Hamilton in the afternoon, while Gasly was 0.107 seconds ahead of Red Bull with his time.

Verstappen said: “It’s not a good day. Struggling with balance and overall grip. Still a little work to do. “

His teammate Alex Albon was 14th fastest after suppressing his fastest lap for running wide at Parabolica.

Ricciardo’s pace, despite cutting his lap time, underscores the expectation that Renault will be vying for a position close to the front of the grid, after the Australian qualified and finished fourth on the weekend. -end last at Spa-Francorchamps.

Behind Verstappen, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz set the fifth fastest time, shortly before a moment off the track at the first Lesmo corner, ahead of second Alpha Tauri of Daniil Kvyat and Lance Stroll of Racing Point.

McLaren’s Norris, sporting a helmet with two distinct pizza types as his own left-field tribute to Italy, had a troubled session, hampered by engine issues, apparently with the hybrid energy recovery system.

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