Italian GP: Vettel fastest in FP2 as Ericsson shunts heavily

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Italian GP: Vettel fastest in FP2 as Ericsson shunts heavily
Edd Straw
By: Edd Straw
Aug 31, 2018, 2:36 PM

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Friday's second free practice for the Italian Grand Prix after Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson survived a high-speed crash.

Ericsson's shunt happened just two minutes into the session at the start of his first flying lap, with his Sauber car snapping left when he hit the brakes on the high-speed approach to Turn 1 after the DRS failed to close.

This pitched Ericsson's car head on into the barriers, with the car then launched into a series of rolls while spinning down the track.

The car came to rest the right way up and Ericsson was able to get out of the car before being taken to the medical centre and then returning to the Sauber garage after being given the all-clear.

The accident triggered a lengthy red flag for the wreckage to be cleared up and the barrier to be repaired eventually resuming after a 20-minute delay.

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37 crash

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37 crash

Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Sutton Images

With the session effectively reduced to 68 minutes, Ferrari soon took control up front with Sebastian Vettel setting a time of 1m21.716s on supersofts to head soft-shod teammate Kimi Raikkonen by 0.157s.

Lewis Hamilton was two tenths off the pace at this stage on softs despite an off track-moment when he cut the second chicane.

When drivers switched onto their qualifying simulations, all were able to complete multiple laps on supersofts.

While Vettel was forced to abandon his first lap after running wide at the Parabolica, teammate Raikkonen hit the front with a lap of 1m21.375s.

Vettel then improved on his third push lap to go second, then on his fourth attempt he posted a 1m21.105s to seal top spot – 0.270s faster than Raikkonen.

But his attempt to squeeze one more fast lap out came to nothing when the rear stepped out on entry to the Parabolica, sending him spinning through the gravel.

Vettel kept the car out of the barrier and was able to drive back to the pits – returning to the track with 12 minutes remaining.

Hamilton was third fastest, just 0.017s behind Raikkonen, with Bottas a further four tenths back.

Red Bull pairing Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, once again not in touch with the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.

The Racing Point Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were best of the rest, with the former lapping 1.825s off the pace and just 0.012s quicker than his teammate.

Charles Leclerc claimed ninth place with his late qualifying simulation run after his session was delayed by similar DRS problems to those suffered by Ericsson.

Leclerc went out twice after the restart to conduct DRS tests but returned to the pits after the rear wing did not shut, but the system did work successfully in the closing stages of the session.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg closed out the top 10, one tenth behind Leclerc, with Haas driver Romain Grosjean 11th and just 0.014s slower.

Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen followed in 12th and 13th respectively, with Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly and Williams' Sergey Sirotkin completing the top 15.

McLaren had another difficult session, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne slowest of those to set a time, the Spaniard lapping 2.636s off the pace.

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Laps Time Gap
1 Germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 27 1'21.105  
2 Finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 31 1'21.375 0.270
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 31 1'21.392 0.287
4 Finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 35 1'21.803 0.698
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 28 1'22.154 1.049
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 28 1'22.296 1.191
7 France Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 30 1'22.930 1.825
8 Mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 32 1'22.942 1.837
9 Monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 20 1'22.965 1.860
10 Germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 30 1'23.063 1.958
11 France Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 31 1'23.077 1.972
12 Spain Carlos Sainz   Renault Renault 32 1'23.193 2.088
13 Denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 28 1'23.233 2.128
14 France Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda 34 1'23.402 2.297
15 Russian Federation Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes 28 1'23.514 2.409
16 New Zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 16 1'23.531 2.426
17 Canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 29 1'23.566 2.461
18 Spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 23 1'23.741 2.636
19 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault 30 1'24.084 2.979
20 Sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 2    
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Author Edd Straw
Article type Practice report