Charles Leclerc remains fastest as Lewis Hamilton closes in during Monza FP2

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in action at the Italian Grand Prix

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

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Flag   Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:20.978 37
2 Flag   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.046 0.068 32
3 Flag   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.179 0.201 39
4 Flag   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:21.347 0.369 34
5 Flag   Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.350 0.372 29
6 Flag   Alexander Albon Red Bull 1:21.589 0.611 30
7 Flag   Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:22.124 1.146 42
8 Flag   Romain Grosjean Haas 1:22.153 1.175 44
9 Flag   Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:22.249 1.271 36
10 Flag   Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:22.260 1.282 37
11 Flag   Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:22.338 1.360 37
12 Flag   Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:22.482 1.504 32
13 Flag   Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:22.511 1.533 42
14 Flag   Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:22.523 1.545 35
15 Flag   Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:22.706 1.728 32
16 Flag   Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:22.882 1.904 33
17 Flag   Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:23.065 2.087 35
18 Flag   Lando Norris McLaren 1:23.561 2.583 16
19 Flag   Robert Kubica Williams 1:23.737 2.759 29
20 Flag   George Russell Williams 1:24.313 3.335 23