Hamilton reverses Rosberg advantage as Mercedes dominate FP2

Lewis Hamilton - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Like first practice on Friday morning, the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers dominated the second practice session of the 2016 Italian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton getting the better of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton reversed the positions from this morning’s FP1, taking top spot from Rosberg with a time of 1:22:801 on the Supersoft tyre, which was 0.198 seconds faster than his team-mate, who set a time of 1:22:994 to take second. The Mercedes team decided not to run the ‘Monza spec wing’ that is especially designed for the Italian circuit, and instead ran the normal specification wing that was believed to have higher downforce.

Scuderia Ferrari appeared to be the ‘best of the rest’ team in the practice, with their drivers taking the third and fourth fastest positions. Sebastian Vettel was roughly two-tenths of a second faster than Kimi Raikkonen, with a time of 1:23:254 in comparison to 1:23:427. Both times again were set on Supersoft tyres, although later in the session, Vettel swapped to soft tyres, which he complained that he was struggling with towards the end of the session.

Monza was always going to be a challenging circuit for Red Bull Racing due to its need for high power, but both drivers put in respectable performances to come fifth and sixth. Young Dutchman Max Verstappen managed to finish ahead of his more experienced team-mate of Daniel Ricciardo, setting a time almost three-tenths faster.

Unexpectedly, seventh place went to Fernando Alonso for McLaren-Honda, who had suffered a small hydraulic leak at the end of FP1 but was able to return to the track albeit after a slight delay in FP2. He set a fastest time of 1:24:259, which put him marginally ahead of Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished eighth with a time of 1:24:299.

Ninth place spot went to Romain Grosjean with a respectable time of 1:24:519 for the Haas F1 Team. Grosjean had complained throughout the session of struggling with stability of the rear end of the car and understeer. He finished just ahead of Jenson Button who finished up the top ten with a time of 1:24:549 in the second McLaren.

After having announced his retirement from Formula 1 yesterday, Brazilian Williams driver Felipe Massa put a time of 1:24:556 to finish in eleventh place, despite a spell in the pits while his team fixed a hydraulics issue.  He finished ahead of last weekend’s fourth place finisher, Sahara Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg, who’s fastest lap of 1:24:587 left him in twelfth place, one ahead of his team-mate, Sergio Perez.

Esteban Gutierrez lapped only a few hundredths of a second slower than Perez to finish the practice in fourteenth place with a time of 1:24:674, with the impressive performance from both Haas drivers today likely due to the new Ferrari engine upgrade they had access to, and bodes well for the rest of the weekend.

On his twenty-sixth birthday, Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson put in an impressive performance to finish in fifteenth place with a time of 1:24:981, over half a second faster than his Sauber F1 Team team-mate Felipe Nasr, who finished second to last in the practice. This put him ahead of Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein, who had an impressive session, finishing sixteenth fastest.

Both Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers, Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, had a poor session, and both continue to suffer with the lack of any engine upgrades from taking last season’s Ferrari engine. Sainz finished the best out of the two, in seventeenth place, with a time of 1:25:240, and Kvyat in twentieth.

Manor’s newest driver, Esteban Ocon, managed to finish in eighteenth place despite stopping on track just after the second chicane, which saw yellow flags and a brief virtual safety car, with the stoppage ending of the nineteen-year old’s session.

Behind him was the leading Renault F1 Sport of Kevin Magnussen, who finished nineteenth with a time of 1:25:555. The Danish driver was cleared to race earlier this week by the FIA after his horrific crash at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, while the last two places were taken by Nasr and the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza Free Practice 2 Result

144Lewis Hamilton GBRMercedes1:22:801
26Nico Rosberg GERMercedes1:22:994
35Sebastien Vettel GERFerrari1:23:254
47Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1:23:427
533Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull1:23:732
63Daniel Ricciardo AUSRed Bull1:24:003
714Fernando Alonso SPAMcLaren1:24:259
877Valterri BottasFINWilliams1:24:299
98Romain Grosjean FRAHaas1:24:516
1022Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren1:24:549
1119Felipe MassaBRAWilliams1:24:556
1227Nico Hulkenberg GERForce India1:24:587
1311Sergio PerezMEXForce India1:24:653
1421Esteban GutierrezMEXHaas1:24:674
159Marcus Ericsson SWESauber1:24:981
1694Pascal Wehrlein GERManor1:25:083
1755Carlos Sainz SPA Toro Rosso1:25:240
1831Esteban Ocon FRAManor1:25:275
1920Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault1:25:555
2026Daniil Kvyat RUSToro Rosso1:25:614
2112Felipe NasrBRASauber1:25:643
2230Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1:25:833