Bottas Leads Hamilton as Mercedes Stay 1-2 in FP2

Mercedes again topped the practice timesheets at Monza, but after Lewis Hamilton went quickest in the first practice, the afternoon session saw team-mate Valtteri Bottas take top spot.

The Finn set a best time of 1:21.406s on the supersoft compound tyres to edge out Hamilton by just fibve hundredths of a second.

Afetr finishing the morning session 1.1s behind FP1 pacesetter Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel moved Ferrari closer to the Silver Arrows with a best of lap of 1:21.546 that left him just a tenth of a second behind Bottas. Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was fourth, 0.398s behind his fellow Finn.

Championship frontrunners Mercedes and Ferrari were the only teams to dip into the 1m21s bracket with closest rivals Red Bull Racing over a second behind Bottas’ pace, with Max Verstappen the quicker of the team’s two drivers. The Dutch driver set a best lap of 1:22.409 to finish 1.003. Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished three tenths further back in sixth.

In the morning session, which featured a two-by-two order in the top eight places, Force Indias drivers occupied what would be row four of the grid. In the afternoon, though, McLaren ramped up its performance and an encouraging session saw Stoffel Vandoorne take seventh place ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso. Spaniard Alonso is one of a clutch of drivers set to take engine-related grid penalties this weekend in a bid to optimise their chances at the less power hungry Singapore Grand Prix. Alonso will start from the back after he drops the 35 places his engine componetns changes cost him. Both Red Bull drivers and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz will also drop back on Sunday. There may yet be more penalties in store for Sainz as his FP2 ended early with a blown engine.

Esteban Ocon finished the session in ninth place for Force India, while Felipe Massa completed the top 10 for Williams.

2017 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 25 1:21.406
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 24 1:21.462 0.056
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 33 1:21.546 0.140
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 34 1:21.804 0.398
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 34 1:22.409 1.003
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 22 1:22.752 1.346
7 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 31 1:22.947 1.541
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren 31 1:22.968 1.562
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 43 1:22.977 1.571
10 Felipe Massa Williams 42 1:22.985 1.579
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 21 1:23.150 1.744
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 14 1:23.272 1.866
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 34 1:23.317 1.911
14 Sergio Perez Force India 43 1:23.352 1.946
15 Lance Stroll Williams 36 1:23.403 1.997
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 31 1:23.567 2.161
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 20 1:23.650 2.244
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 28 1:24.253 2.847
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 39 1:24.894 3.488
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 25 1:25.295 3.889


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