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Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 despite spin, huge crash for Ericsson at Monza F1 GP

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Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 despite spin, huge crash for Ericsson at Monza F1 GP
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Aug 31, 2018, 4:24 PM

On a day where Ferrari appeared again to have the pace advantage over championship rivals Mercedes, championship contender Sebastian Vettel's sess...

On a day where Ferrari appeared again to have the pace advantage over championship rivals Mercedes, championship contender Sebastian Vettel's session was hampered by a spin during the qualifying simulations.

Throughout the session, Vettel appeared to have an answer for all challengers to top spot. He made improvements across multiple laps on the same set on supersoft tyres and still set a purple first sector on his tenth lap.

However, pushing hard in the third sector, Vettel made a mistake at the Parabolica corner and went backwards into the barrier, damaging his rear wing.

There were delays for Vettel whilst the car was checked over, but he was still able to return to the track and complete some race simulations.

Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest, but narrowly ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who currently appears to be the only challenger to Ferrari, with the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas several tenths off the pace.

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen - who had a harmless spin in a wet FP1 - and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth fastest, with the latter running the latest specification of power unit, reportedly worth up to three tenths of a second per lap.

The race simulations further highlighted that Red Bull are very unlikely to be in the fight, whilst Ferrari appeared to have the edge over Mercedes on the higher-fuel runs.

FP2 was red flagged in opening minutes due to a huge crash for Ericsson occurring only a couple of minutes into the session.

The Sauber driver lost control of his car under heavy braking for turn one, which sent the car into the left-hand side barrier and rolling across the first chicane.

The car came to a stop the right way up and Ericsson was unscathed.

Worryingly, replays showed that he lost control of the car due to his DRS staying open and investigations will continue into the cause of the failure.

Sauber investigated the issue on Charles Leclerc's car, and the Monegasque driver stayed in his garage for much of the session.

With the opening free practice session affected by a morning downpour, and the second free practice session effectively reduced to an hour after Marcus Ericsson's early crash, teams had a limited amount of time to gather the data from their qualifying and race simulations.

The wet-to-intermediate conditions of the opening free practice session produced an unusual timesheet, with Force India's Sergio Perez topping the session ahead of Raikkonen and team-mate Esteban Ocon.

In a much more representative FP2, the Force India's ended up as 'best of the rest' with Perez narrowly pipping Ocon to seventh place ahead of Leclerc and Renault Nico Hulkenberg, who will be focusing on a setup better-suited to his back-of-the-grid starting position.

Following his ten-place grid penalty for causing the accident involving himself, Fernando Alonso and Leclerc, Renault have elected to take further penalties for new power unit components, although this is not believed to be the 'Spec C' power unit.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX, Free Practice

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m21.105s - 27 Laps

2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m21.375s 0.270s 31

3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m21.392s 0.287s 31

4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m21.803s 0.698s 35

5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m22.154s 1.049s 28

6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m22.296s 1.191s 28

7 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m22.930s 1.825s 30

8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m22.942s 1.837s 32

9 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m22.965s 1.860s 20

10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m23.063s 1.958s 30

11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m23.077s 2.088s 31

12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m23.193s 2.088s 32

13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m23.233s 2.128s 28

14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m23.402s 2.297s 34

15 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m23.514s 2.409s 28

16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m23.531s 2.426s 16

17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m23.566s 2.461s 29

18 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m23.741s 2.636s 23

19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m24.084s 2.979s 30

20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari No time

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

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Gallery: Marcus Ericsson’s huge F1 crash at Monza

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Series Formula 1
Author Luke Murphy
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