Nico Rosberg sets the pace during second practice session at Monza.
Nico Rosberg was quickest in the Friday afternoon practice session at Monza as team-mate Lewis Hamilton was restricted to Mercedes' garage for just over an hour with electronics problems.
Rosberg set the pace at 1:26.225 on the medium Pirelli tyre, just before the hour mark in the 90-minute session. Until that point there had been no sign of his title rival tem-mate but soon after Rosberg’s quickest run Hamilton was clambering into his repaired W05 and was on track. In the end he got as close as P2, with a lap just 0.061 adrift of the German but it was Rosberg who took the afternoon spoils.
Ferrari goes P3 and P4
Kimi Raikkonen followed up a good morning session performance, in which he finished, with third in the afternoon, just ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso. The lead Ferrari finished the session, just a tenth down on Rosberg and just over two tenths clear of his team-mate.
In the opening phases of the session, Rosberg was quickest on the hard compound Pirelli, with a time of 1:26.786s. The German’s time was just thousandths of a second clear of Alonso, with the Italian seeming to indulge in a little low-fuel showboating in front of its home fans.
Medium vs. option tyres
Third fastest on the medium tyre was Jenson Button, the McLaren driver finishing just four hundredths ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen. Fifth was Sebastian Vettel. Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo found it hard to bounce back after power unit problems in the morning but at least made into the top 10 just before the medium-tyre runs began.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was the first to bolt on a set of this weekend’s option tyres but it was Rosberg who quickly rose to the top again, the German posting a lap of 1:26.225 to annex P1, ahead of Valtteri Bottas who were finally beginning to show their hand after a quiet morning session saw the Finn finish 12th ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa.
Bottas was soon displaced by Alonso, however, and then by the Spaniard’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who got closest to Rosberg with a time of 1m26.331s, just a tenth off the German’s best. At the hour mark that left the order as Rosberg, Raikkonen, Alonso, Bottas, Button and Vettel. Seventh was Magnussen, ahead of Massa, Ricciardo and Perez.
Hamilton finally gets back on track
That was the cue for Hamilton to finally clamber into his Mercedes and head out on track for his first run, on the hard tyre compound.
His first effort saw him rise to P12 with a time of 1:27.352 and he was quickly on the radio reporting “a lot of understeer”. He made his way back to the pit lane for a change and emerged on medium tyres. He immediately vaulted to P2, just six hundredths of a second adrift of his team-mate with a lap of 1:26.286.
Behind them the order remained the same as had filled the top 10 after 60 minutes, with only Perez moving, the Mexican dropping out of the top 10 as Hamilton rose through the order.
2014 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Times
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.225 41
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.286 0.061 16
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.331 0.106 31
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.565 0.340 26
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:26.758 0.533 34
6 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.762 0.537 34
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:26.762 0.537 27
8 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:26.881 0.656 44
9 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.935 0.710 33
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:26.992 0.767 37
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.079 0.854 42
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:27.227 1.002 39
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:27.476 1.251 37
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.840 1.615 33
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.929 1.704 33
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:28.029 1.804 35
17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:28.659 2.434 34
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:28.700 2.475 42
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.786 2.561 29
20 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:29.085 2.860 29
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:29.178 2.953 32
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:29.275 3.050 37