Italian GP: Charles Leclerc tops second practice


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By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 author at Monza
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc edged Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to set fastest time in a clinic in the Grand Prix.
Leclerc, fresh out of his maiden win in Belgium, was 0.068 minutes faster than Hamilton. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had been third, 0.201secs off the pace.
The next Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third, from the Red Bulls of both Alexander Albon and Max Verstappen.
Rain created competitiveness more difficult to read than usual.
The changeable weather meant that the teams conducted their sessions into various timetables, Ferrari and Red Bull cramming within their simulation laps prior to the first rain shower.
That supposed an abrupt from the later prep, on which Mercedes appeared to get an advantage but on that Ferrari may have been influenced by a damper track for the beginning of their conducts.
Nevertheless, the cars’ performance pattern appeared as expected with Ferrari having an edge on a lap but Mercedes faster over an extended term.
That’s precisely the pattern seen in Belgium, where Leclerc took pole but won the race on his tail having a charging right.
One of the six, there has been a performance from Albon.
In just his second race for Red Bull after his advertising against Toro Rossohe was a creditable 0.239secs slower than Verstappen, who will begin this weekend in the back of the grid as a result of a penalty for using too many motors.
That is also true for Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, who was seventh fastest, while an oil leak was mended by McLaren after missing the first half of this session, and McLaren’s Lando Norris, who finished up 18th.
Underneath Gasly, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and the second Renault of Nico Hulkenberg finished the top 10.
There were off-track minutes and a few spins, but no mishaps, unlike the first semester, when the two Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Racing Point Sergio Perez had crashes.
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