Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the second practice session for the Italian Grand Prix in front of his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and his title rival Lewis Hamilton.
After a rainy opening Friday session, the weather presented a more friendly face during the afternoon practice. With ambient temperatures just over 20 degrees and only a few raindrops, drivers could try the dry-weather Pirelli tyres out for the first time this weekend. Pirelli brought the trio of medium, soft and supersoft to Monza as used in Belgium and teams were keen on covering mileages and learn about the tyres' behavior on the 5.793km long track.
The silence in Monza was broken by the Ferrari engines of the Sauber-Alfa Romeo team. Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclers were the first drivers to hit the legendary track. However, the Sweden's run did only last a lap and a few meters, because the DRS on his rear wing reopened as he tried to brake into the first chicane on his first hot lap. Ericsson escaped the accident unscathed despite rolling over several times with his car.
Sebastian Vettel was the only top driver to use only the supersoft tyres during the afternoon. The German driver was quick from the word go in both his performance runs.. However, he found it hard to find the rhythm on the first laps of his second stint before topping the session with a lap time of 1:21.105. On the very lap qualifying lap, he was on an even better pace, but lost control of the rear end of his car and span into the gravel trap around the iconic Parabolica corner, damaging so his rear wing. He could get out of the run-off zone and limp back to the Ferrari box to rejoin the track for a race-simulation run in the dying minutes of the session.
Vettel's team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was second with his Ferrari, enjoying a trouble-free second practice session. In contrast to his team-mate, the Finn used Pirelli's soft tyres at first before switching to the supersofts. Mercedes drivers were showing very different performace. Lewis Hamilton could constantly match Ferrari's pace, especially in the first sector while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas did not find the rhythm with his W09. However, the three-time GP winner enjoyed a much promising race simulation at the end of the session.
Continuing the trend, Red Bull Racing was in a distant third position. After technical gremlins for Daniel Ricciardo in the morning session, the Anglo-Austrian team enjoyed a troublefree second session, but was unable to endanger Ferrari's and Mercedes' dominance.
Making use of its strong end-of-straight performance, Force India was the fourth strongest team on Friday. As in Spa a week ago, McLaren-Honda ended the day last.
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:21.392||+0.287s||31|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:21.803||+0.698s||35|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:22.154||+1.049s||28|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:22.296||+1.191s||28|
|7||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:22.930||+1.825s||30|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:22.942||+1.837s||32|
|9||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:22.965||+1.860s||20|
|11||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:23.077||+1.972s||31|
|13||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:23.233||+2.128s||28|
|14||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:23.402||+2.297s||34|
|15||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:23.514||+2.409s||28|
|16||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:23.531||+2.426s||16|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:23.566||+2.461s||29|
|18||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:23.741||+2.636s||23|
|19||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:24.084||+2.979s||30|
|20||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||-||-||2|