Charles Leclerc remains fastest as Lewis Hamilton closes in during Monza FP2
Charles Leclerc maintained his and Ferrari’s recent strong form as he topped second practice in Italy, though Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes closed in.
Belgian GP victor Leclerc, who surged to the front during the final stages of a wet/dry FP1, clocked a time of 1:20.978 in cool and overcast conditions at Monza.
Showers lingered in the area throughout the 90-minute session but drivers were able to carry out running on slick tyres.
Leclerc was the only driver to dip into the 1:20s but his advantage over Hamilton was just 0.068s, as Mercedes belied its straight-line speed disadvantage at the venue.
Hamilton has taken four wins from five attempts in the hybrid era at the event.
Sebastian Vettel was two-tenths down on his Ferrari team-mate as he classified third overall, in front of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, who edged Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by just 0.003s.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Alexander Albon was sixth, a further two-tenths behind the Dutchman, while Pierre Gasly led the midfield, half a second behind his Red Bull replacement.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean was eighth, as Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10.
Outgoing Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. were next up, with Kevin Magnussen, Kimi Raikkonen, the Racing Point pair and Antonio Giovinazzi ensuring the midfield were covered by just a second.
A small oil leak consigned Lando Norris to the garage for much of the session but he returned to action late on to set a representative lap, winding up 18th.
Williams pair Robert Kubica and George Russell finished at the rear of the pack, the Pole ahead of his rookie team-mate by six-tenths of a second.
Saturday’s third practice session is scheduled for 12:00 local time
Italy - Practice 2
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:21.350||0.372||29|
|6||Alexander Albon||Red Bull||1:21.589||0.611||30|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:22.124||1.146||42|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:22.260||1.282||37|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:22.523||1.545||35|
|15||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:22.706||1.728||32|
|16||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1:22.882||1.904||33|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:23.065||2.087||35|