Sainz keeps Ferrari ahead in second Italian GP practice

Glenn Dunbar/Motorsport Images

Sainz keeps Ferrari ahead in second Italian GP practice

Formula 1

Sainz keeps Ferrari ahead in second Italian GP practice

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Carlos Sainz topped second practice at the Italian Grand Prix despite incurring an additional grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Spaniard went quickest with fresh softs after a brief red-flag suspension at the half-hour mark to collect Mick Schumacher’s stopped Haas, which was parked by the side of the road at the Roggia chicane with an engine problem. The Spaniard’s best time, a 1m21.664s, was 0.143s quicker than Max Verstappen’s fastest effort, the Dutchman’s top time coming shortly before the suspension.

Both drivers will take penalties, with Sainz being sent to the back of the grid thanks to a new control electronics system installed between practice sessions, while Verstappen will lose just five places, as has already been confirmed.

Charles Leclerc completed the top three, just 0.05s slower than Verstappen. In a buoying afternoon for Ferrari, the red cars also appeared to have strong long-run pace once most of the field converted to the medium compound for the final 20 minutes of the hour, though Verstappen remained the man to beat.

The race is expected to be completed with one stop, with the medium and hard compounds predicted to feature prominently.

Lando Norris was an impressive fourth at 0.674s adrift for McLaren to slot himself ahead of both Mercedes drivers and Sergio Perez.

George Russell was the quicker of the Silver Arrows to finish fifth and beat the scrappy Sergio Perez by 0.08s. Lewis Hamilton followed at 0.117s off the pace of his teammate.

Esteban Ocon led the way for Alpine, with the Frenchman again closely matched with teammate Fernando Alonso. The pair ended the day eighth and ninth. Alex Albon continued his quick start to the grand prix weekend with 10th in his Williams.

Daniel Ricciardo was 11th for McLaren ahead of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, while Pierre Gasly led AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda to the end of the session in 14th and 15th, the Japanese driver adding an engine penalty to his 10-place reprimand between sessions for a back-of-grid start. Kevin Magnussen tucked in behind them to take 16th.

Sebastian Vettel returned to his Aston Martin after Nyck de Vries gave it a spin in FP1. He beat teammate Lance Stroll to 17th, though the pair were split by only 0.1s. Nicholas Latifi was 19th for Williams at 2.3s off the pace.

Schumacher was classified last in the order with only nine laps to his name before his car failed with an apparent engine problem. The German said he thought the power unit “seized” as he traveled through the Roggia chicane, and he was instructed to stop at the side of the track.

It was a costly retirement for Schumacher, who gave up his car during FP1 to Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi, leaving him badly down on track time ahead of qualifying day. It also raises the prospect of the Haas driver adding his name to the growing list of drivers due to serve a penalty for engine changes this weekend.

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