Ferrari tops Monza FP2 despite Vettel spin

Image by Dunar/LAT

Ferrari tops Monza FP2 despite Vettel spin

Formula 1

Ferrari tops Monza FP2 despite Vettel spin

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Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari one-two in a second practice session for the Italian Grand Prix marred by a massive crash for Marcus Ericsson.

Just two minutes in, Ericsson crashed at the end of the pit straight after his DRS failed to close when he hit the brakes, pitching him into the barrier and sending his car barrel rolling down to Turn 1.

After a 20-minute delay for repairs, the session was able to continue on a dry track after the rain that struck FP1. Vettel led the way with a 1m21.105s but had a scare in the final 20 minutes when he spun at the Parabolica, bouncing over the gravel before hitting the barrier with the rear wing. Fortunately for Vettel, he was able to recover from the gravel trap and return to the pits where Ferrari could repair the light damage.

That was the only negative in an otherwise strong session for Ferrari, with Kimi Raikkonen ensuring the team finished the afternoon sitting one-two at its home race with a 1m21.375s. Raikkonen was just 0.017s clear of Lewis Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas fourth on a day when Mercedes also enjoyed a significant advantage over the two Red Bulls.

Max Verstappen was over a second off the pace in fifth, leaving Daniel Ricciardo – armed with a fresh power unit that will see him start from the back of the grid – in sixth. Red Bull might have been comfortably slower than the top two teams, but there was then a gap of over 0.6s back to the Force India pair of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, who had both finished FP1 in the top three.

Charles Leclerc and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10, but Leclerc’s running was somewhat limited by a similar problem to that suffered by Ericsson. Sauber used the red flag period after Ericsson’s crash to analyze the DRS on Leclerc’s car and the rookie had to pit twice more once the session resumed due to his DRS staying open.

McLaren suffered another difficult day on a circuit not suited to its car, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne – who sat out FP1 while Lando Norris made another appearance – the slowest two drivers to set a lap time in FP2. The team was also practicing slipstreaming during the session; the benefit of a tow being evaluated ahead of its expected use in qualifying.

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