Italian GP: Charles Leclerc tops second practice

Italian GP: Charles Leclerc tops second practice

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By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 writer at Monza
The Charles Leclerc of ferrari edged Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to establish fastest time in a weather-affected second practice at the Italian Grand Prix.
Leclerc, fresh out of his maiden triumph in Belgium, was 0.068 seconds quicker than Hamilton. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, 0.201secs off the pace.
The Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was from the Red Bulls of both Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon.
Intermittent rain created competitiveness harder to read than usual.
The weather meant that the teams ran their sessions into timetables, Ferrari and Red Bull cramming in their inaugural simulation laps early in the session Mercedes preferring to wait until it had passed, before the rain shower.
That also supposed an abrupt from the later preparation, on that Ferrari may have been influenced by a damper monitor for the beginning of their runs although on which Mercedes appeared to get an advantage.
Nevertheless, the performance pattern of the cars seemed as expected – with Ferrari having an advantage on a lap but Mercedes faster over a longer run.
That’s precisely the pattern where Leclerc took pole but won the race with a charging on his tail.
One of the six, there was a noteworthy performance from Albon.
In just his second race for Red Bull following his advertising in Toro Rossohe was a creditable 0.239secs slower than Verstappen, that will start this weekend by the back of the grid as a result of a punishment for using a lot of engines.
That’s also the case 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, that ended up 18th.
Underneath Gasly, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, the Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso 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 very first semester, when both Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez had heavy crashes.
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