Lewis Hamilton was fractionally faster than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the second practice session for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. Hamilton outpaced his German rival by almost two tenths of a second with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third a further two tenths behind.
Ferrari who has brought a upgrade for their home race are aiming to retake second from Red Bull who they have a three tenths gap to. Kimi Raikkonen was third, Max Verstappen fourth and Daniel Ricciardo fifth all suppurated by three tenths of a second.
Ferrari led the session early on with the Italian team focus being on the soft and medium tyre before Hamilton went fastest on the soft. Sebastian Vettel then headed back to the top when he switched to the supersoft. That was until Rosberg did his run on the same compound.
Fernando Alonso was seventh after early technical issues in his McLaren. This must have been a surprise for the Spaniard who said yesterday he expected would be the worst for the team all year. Alonso’s best lap could have been better because he had an oversteer moment on the exit of the Parabolica corner.
Williams’s Valtteri Bottas was eight fastest ahead of Haas’s Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Jenson Button. It must have been a frustrating session for Felipe Massa who only completed half the number of laps as Bottas finishing eleventh. Massa had been hampered by a brake-by-wire issue, though he recovered to complete 20 laps.
Between Button in ninth and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson there was on .4 of a second between all seven cars. But for Toro Rosso as expected it was a difficult afternoon at their home race with Carlos Sainz seventeenth and Daniil Kvyat was twentieth.
For McLaren it showed progress as last year they were at the back of the field and only out-qualified the Manor team.
For Toro Rosso it was expected to be tough because Monza is a high speed flowing circuit and the team are running a 2015 spec engine which hasn’t been developed like the rest of the grid.