Italian GP: Leclerc pips Hamilton by 0.068s in FP2

Charles Leclerc set the pace in the rain-affected second Formula 1 free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix.

Italian GP: Leclerc pips Hamilton by 0.068s in FP2

The session started on a largely dry track with some slight damp patches, meaning for the first 25 minutes drivers were able to lap on slick rubber.

Given the morning rain that compromised FP1, this led to a busy period of running with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace early on with a best lap of 1m21.972s using medium compound Pirellis.

Read Also:

Sebastian Vettel, also using mediums, was 0.303s slower with Leclerc using hards and down in fourth, 0.475s down and behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Rain was expected, eventually arriving 25 minutes into the session, meaning most of the field quickly switched to softs for qualifying simulation laps before the conditions worsened.

Once on slicks, Leclerc hit the front with a lap of 1m20.978s, set just 19 minutes into the session.

Teammate Vettel then put in his lap to slot into second place, two tenths of a second off his teammate despite having set a faster time in the first sector of the lap.

While the Mercedes duo initially looked to have missed this dry window to set a time, both Hamilton on Bottas did go out later using softs once the track had dried out and set improved times with 30 minutes remaining once the rain had cleared.

Hamilton did enough to climb to second place with his attempt, setting a pace just 0.068s off Leclerc to split the Ferraris.

Bottas was 0.369s off the pace in fourth after lapping slower than Hamilton in all three sectors.

Red Bulls were fifth and sixth with Verstappen, who carries a back-of-the-grid start penalty thanks to taking the spec-four Honda engine, ahead and 0.372s off the pace despite the team reckoning he was losing a second on the straights.

However, he also lost time on his quickest lap in the first sector then had to abort his second attempt thanks to the rain coming.

Alex Albon, who served his grid penalty last weekend so already has the latest engine available, was 0.239s slower in sixth place.

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly had time to set two quick laps on softs before the rain, improving to seventh with his second attempt and pipping Romain Grosjean by 0.029s.

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo was ninth fastest based on his medium-tyre pace, just 0.011s quicker than soft-shod Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso.

Nico Hulkenberg just missed out on the top 10 in the second Renault, ending up 0.144s quicker than the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, who set his best time on mediums.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who clipped a piece of pit equipment as he left for one of his runs, was 13th fastest and 0.012s quicker than Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen, who had an off at the first chicane early in the session.

Lance Stroll was one of only four drivers to set an improved time after the rain, jumping to 15th ahead of Racing Point teammate Sergio Perez.

This also shuffled Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi down to 17th place, with Lando Norris missing much of the session to a small oil leak before setting his first lap time to take 18th late on, despite running wide at Parabolica.

Robert Kubica won the intra-Williams battle ahead of George Russell to take 19th place by just over half-a-second.

With most drivers setting their best times early on then returning to the pits, the session was red-flagged after 36 minutes to allow gravel to be cleared from the track at the second chicane.

The session was resumed after a stoppage of nine minutes some cars did soon return to the track led by Grosjean, with the Mercedes drivers also among those to complete exploratory laps on their used tyres before completing their performance runs on softs.

During the closing stages, drivers were able to conduct race simulation stints, with the rain largely holding off before returning in the final five minutes.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 37 1'20.978  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 32 1'21.046 0.068
3 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 39 1'21.179 0.201
4 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 34 1'21.347 0.369
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 29 1'21.350 0.372
6 Thailand Alex Albon Red Bull 30 1'21.589 0.611
7 France Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 42 1'22.124 1.146
8 France Romain Grosjean Haas 44 1'22.153 1.175
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 36 1'22.249 1.271
10 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 37 1'22.260 1.282
11 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Renault 37 1'22.338 1.360
12 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 32 1'22.482 1.504
13 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 42 1'22.511 1.533
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 35 1'22.523 1.545
15 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 32 1'22.706 1.728
16 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 33 1'22.882 1.904
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 35 1'23.065 2.087
18 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 16 1'23.561 2.583
19 Poland Robert Kubica Williams 29 1'23.737 2.759
20 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 23 1'24.313 3.335
shares
comments
Verstappen: Contrarian Rosberg "the new Jacques Villeneuve"

Previous article

Verstappen: Contrarian Rosberg "the new Jacques Villeneuve"

Next article

Alonso: F1's 2021 overhaul "a good opportunity" to return

Alonso: F1's 2021 overhaul "a good opportunity" to return
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021