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Mercedes in command at Monza: Bottas leads 1-2 in second F1 practice session

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Mercedes in command at Monza: Bottas leads 1-2 in second F1 practice session
Sep 1, 2017, 2:51 PM

Mercedes took a one-two in the second practice session of the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix as Valtteri Bottas led FP2 with a time of 1m21.

Mercedes took a one-two in the second practice session of the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix as Valtteri Bottas led FP2 with a time of 1m21.406 seconds on Pirelli super-softs.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton filed in second but he topped FP1 earlier on Friday with a time of 1m21.537s. Light rain fell in FP1 but the track was dry for the following session, though any residual rubber on the track was all but washed away.

The field began FP2 on softs, on which Hamilton was fastest with a time of 1m21.956s; within half an hour teams switched to super-softs and Bottas showed his pace to finish 0.056s ahead of Hamilton.

The last 30 minutes of the 90 minute session were reserved for race simulations as teams focused on long runs, but the Mercedes pair ended their session with 10 minutes remaining, satisfied by their performance.

Sebastian Vettel, who has not led an FP2 session since Monaco, finished third fastest with a time of 1m21.546s while counterpart Kimi Raikkonen finished 0.258s behind his team-mate in fourth. Raikkonen was unhappy with his set-up, particularly with front grip levels.

With four tenths separating the top four, Ferrari hasn't fallen too far behind just yet.

"We must hope [to beat Mercedes]. I don't want to be too general but I think we have nothing to be afraid of," said Vettel to Sky Sports.

"Yeah, on paper they look very strong so they are the favourites going in this weekend, but we'll do everything we can. I think we get a bit of wind from the stands, people are definitely behind us I think, so it should be a great weekend."

The Renault-powered Red Bulls finished fifth and sixth led by Max Verstappen, three tenths faster than his team-mate. Crucially, the Red Bulls take big grid penalties for the race: Daniel Ricciardo has taken his fifth engine and turbo, and sixth MGU-H with a 20-place hit.

Moreover, Verstappen retired with engine problems in Belgium and gets dropped 15 places with a fifth ICE and MGU-H. The Force Indias – Esteban Ocon ninth and Sergio Perez 13th – stand a realistic chance of landing fifth and sixth-place finishes on this power-hungry circuit.

Behind was the unexpected presence of the McLaren Honda duo as Stoffel Vandoorne took seventh and Fernando Alonso eighth.

The two took turns to lend each other a healthy tow on the long straights of Monza, but as Alonso has a 35-place grid penalty for the race, he will be the one towing Vandoorne come qualifying.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ocon of Force India and Felipe Massa of Williams (10th), with 1.579s splitting the top 10 drivers.

On his 23rd birthday, Carlos Sainz Jr finished 11th though his Toro Rosso's Renault engine ground to a halt with 27 minutes remaining just after his team requested him to cool the power unit down.

Sainz also has a 10-place grid penalty as he takes a new MGU-H unit for the race.

Ending his run of three consecutive top seven finishes in FP2, Nico Hulkenberg finished 12th as his session was ended after 14 laps due to his Renault's hydraulics failure.

Jolyon Palmer finished 0.045s behind Hulkenberg, 13th fastest, ahead of Force India's Perez.

Lance Stroll spun at Ascari midway through the session, but recovered to finish 15th ahead of the Haas of Romain Grosjean.

Kevin Magnussen finished 17th, 2.244s off the pace, but he retired with 12 minutes to go with broken suspension having hit the Turn 7 kerbs hard.

Daniil Kvyat finished 2.847s off Hamilton's pace in 18th having complained about his Toro Rosso's “driveability” throughout. The two Saubers, led by Marcus Ericsson, filled out the bottom two places of the leaderboard as 3.889s separated all 20 at Monza.

Have your say on Mercedes' domination in the first and second practice sessions of the Italian F1 Grand Prix.

FP2 Results:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

LAPS

1

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m21.406s

-

25

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m21.462s

0.056s

24

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m21.546s

0.140s

33

4

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m21.804s

0.398s

34

5

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1m22.409s

1.003s

34

6

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m22.752s

1.346s

22

7

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m22.947s

1.541s

31

8

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1m22.968s

1.562s

31

9

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1m22.977s

1.571s

43

10

Felipe Massa

Williams

1m22.985s

1.579s

42

11

Carlos Sainz Jr

Toro Rosso

1m23.150s

1.744s

21

12

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

1m23.272s

1.866s

14

13

Jolyon Palmer

Renault

1m23.317s

1.911s

34

14

Sergio Perez

Force India

1m23.352s

1.946s

43

15

Lance Stroll

Williams

1m23.403s

1.997s

36

16

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1m23.567s

2.161s

31

17

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1m23.650s

2.244s

20

18

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1m24.253s

2.847s

28

19

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m24.894s

3.488s

39

20

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1m25.295s

3.889s

25

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Valtteri Bottas Shop Now