Formula 1

F1 Italy: Bottas Leads Hamilton in Second Practice, but Ferrari Close Gap

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Valtteri Bottas was fastest in second practice in Italy - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas got the better of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team team-mate Lewis Hamilton in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix on Friday, with the duo separated by 0.056 seconds at the front of the field.

But unlike in the first session earlier in the day, Mercedes did not have it all their own way, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ending up third and fourth for Scuderia Ferrari, with the formers time just 0.140 seconds off Bottas, with the latter 0.398 seconds back.

Hamilton had looked on course to beat his team-mate but lost time in the final sector, leaving Bottas at the front of the field, with both drivers jumping ahead of Vettel.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth respectively but over a second down on the outright pace, and both of the Red Bull Racing drivers will take grid penalties for the race after engine changes.

The two McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Team drivers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso, were surprisingly up in seventh and eighth around a track that on paper should not suit their MCL32’s, although the latter is set for a thirty-five-place grid penalty for an engine change.

Sahara Force India F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon and Williams Martini Racing’s Felipe Massa completed the top ten, with Carlos Sainz Jr just missing out, although the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver saw his session come to a premature conclusion when his Renault power unit gave up the ghost after the second chicane.

Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer were twelfth and thirteenth respectively for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez, while the second Williams of Lance Stroll was fifteenth despite a spin at the Ascari chicane. Such was the closeness of the midfield that the Canadian was less than half a second down on seventh placed Vandoorne!

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were a little further back in sixteenth and seventeenth for the Haas F1 Team, with the latter ending his session early with a potential broken suspension that brought out the virtual safety car, while both finished ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, with the Russian another to suffer mechanical woes that saw his session end prematurely.

Unsurprisingly bringing up the rear were the two Sauber F1 Team drivers and their underpowered 2016 Ferrari engines, with Marcus Ericsson four-tenths of a second clear of Pascal Wehrlein.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza Free Practice 2 Result

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