After being narrowly shaded by Nico Rosberg in the opening practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton upped the pace in the afternoon session to eclipse his Mercedes team-mate by just under 0.2s.
While Mercedes dominated in FP1, finishing well ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, the gap was closed by some margin in the afternoon as the team’s set their fastest times on supersoft-shod qualifying runs. Compared with their rivals Mercedes looked to be having a harder time getting the best out of this weekend’s softest compound and that allowed Vettel to set a best time of 1:23.254, 0.453 adrift of Hamilton after Ferrari finished a full second behind in the earlier outing.
Vettel was backed up in the order by team-mate Raikkonen who finished just under 0.2s behind the four-time champion.
After a low-key opening session in which Max Verstappen finished eighth, two places ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, red Bull enjoyed a more productive afternoon with Verstappen in fifth place, three tenths off Raikkonen, and with Ricciardo sixth, a further three tenths back.
Fernando Alonso impressed for McLaren with seventh place ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, while Romain Groshean, who was sixth for Haas in the morning using the uprated Ferrari engine brough to Monza this weekend, finished in ninth place with Jenson Button just under three hundredths of a second further back in tenth.
After Sergio Perez gave Force India a good start to the weekend with fifth place in the morning the team slipped back in the afternoon, with Nico Hulkenberg in P12 behind Williams’ Felipe Massa and Perez in P13.
2016 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.801 40
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.994 42
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:23.254 33
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:23.427 28
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:23.732 25
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.003 33
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:24.259 24
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:24.299 41
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:24.516 35
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1:24.549 28
11 Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.556 20
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:24.587 40
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.653 42
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:24.674 33
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:24.981 25
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:25.083 38
17 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:25.240 31
18 Esteban Ocon Manor 1:25.275 13
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:25.555 39
20 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:25.614 33
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:25.643 31
22 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:25.833 45