The droves of Ferrari fans in attendance were rewarded with a one-two in the opening session, as Practice Two for the 2022 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix got under way at the Monza circuit
Scuderia Ferrari were expecting to struggle this weekend due to their straight-line speed concerns but they started well today and after the first runs in FP2 it was advantage Charles Leclerc over Max Verstappen: he went purple in all there sectors, with a 0.7s advantage. The early running in second practice was largely being done on medium tyres. This compound didn’t appear to be suiting Mercedes very well, with George Russell in sixth, 0.7s off Max Verstappen, and Lewis Hamilton in eighth, a full second off the leading time.
After a short moment without any drivers on track, the Haas duo has broken the silence and come out on track – Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher were both on softs for the next phase of their run plan. Lots more takers for the soft rubber as the session progressed, with Lando Norris seems setting a 1m22.338s, enough for the McLaren driver to go P3, while Fernando Alonso went fourth prior to that lap from Norris.
Midway through the session, Max Verstappen put in a 1m21.807s to go top, finding a great deal of pace in the middle sector. Just a few moments later, there was a red flag, as Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher come to a stop at the side of the road before the first Lesmo: “I have no power,” said the German – “I think I seized the engine or something,” he added, before being told to stop the car.
With Mick Schumacher’s car having been cleared, we had a green light at the end of the pit lane and the session resumed, as most of the field was now running on soft tyres, so we expected to see a few more changes in the timesheets before the teams switched onto race runs. And indeed, Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz did a 1m21.664s on the softs to go top. Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton mounted the mediums, and it looked like their focus was already on the race runs. Alonso, Zhou, Magnussen and Tsunoda followed suit.
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While Carlos moved more than a tenth clear of the Red Bull Dutch driver, Charles Leclerc was half a tenth further back in third, as Mercedes remained the best part of a second off the pace.
Carlos Sainz, who will start the Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid, emerged from the pits for the final 15 minutes on mediums, while Esteban Ocon was exploring the hard compound, and he was the only one to do so at this stage. George Russell has a good chance to contend this weekend due to various engine penalties for his rivals – but he was not too happy with his car’s balance at the moment. He was told it was the same on both cars.
A full mix of tyres were tested at Monza in the final stages of the second practice session, as teams evaluated a range of strategies for Sunday. Charles Leclerc was exploring the limits of the track – and some of the run-off down at Turn 1. He had a good look at the barriers he had to slalom his way through too.
And there was the chequered flag in Italy, bringing an end to Friday’s practice runs. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished fastest from Max Verstappen. Both of whom have grid penalties for Sunday’s race. Charles Leclerc ended FP2 with the third fastest time.
Here’s how it finished to round off Friday, with Lewis Hamilton on seventh:
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
- Lando Norris, McLaren
- George Russell, Mercedes
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