Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the second practice at the Italian Grand Prix as Mercedes dominated again.
0.2 over Hamilton teammate Voltaire Botas. The seconds were fast when they finished the line perfectly on their laps and everyone was trying to benefit from the slipstream.
Daniel Ricardo was third at Renault but time was erased in his lap to run the Parabolika track.
McLaren’s Lando Norris took the place with a lap set late after engine problems.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasley was fourth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Charles Leclerc was the ninth Ferrari, but finished his call and lamented the traffic over the radio.
Monegasque, who took the pole and won the race in 2012, surpassed each other in the last few years in the qualifiers to secure the final lap, with drivers trying not to be first in the line of slip streaming.
Returning to Manja a year later, in a much less competitive position, Leclerc described the traffic as a “disaster”, although admitted: “It’s good training to qualify.”
His teammate Sebastian Vettel was twelfth and got a spin in the first lesmo during his race-simulation after the session, the most serious of the four off-track or out-of-control collisions four times. Champion through the day.
Leclerc had a very close moment at the same angle, but he was able to catch it without a spin, although he did not continue the track.
“It’s so hard to drive,” Leclerc said shortly afterwards on the radio.
Hamilton is 48 points away from his two-match winning streak at Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 wins in the Championship weekend.
Hamilton said, “It felt like we’ve made some improvements from P1 to P2.” P1 didn’t feel great. It’s all low energy so many slide around. It’s going to be close to a bunch of people, I guess.
“It’s a very smelly track so we have a few more steps to try to get the right balance by pushing and balancing between high and low speeds and I will have it where it needs to be.”
Hamilton added that he expected everyone to qualify to be “a nightmare” in terms of traffic and trying to make the right place in his lap.
Verstappen crashed in first practice in the morning and was slightly slower than Hamilton in the afternoon, when Gasley was 0.107 seconds ahead of the Red Bulls in his time.
Verstappen says: “Not a good day. Balance in general. Fighting balance and grip.
His teammate Alex Albon is 14th after deleting his best lap time for Parabolika’s wide race.
After coaching the Australian coach at Speed-Francischamps and qualifying for Australia in the fourth weekend, Ronaldo’s pace, despite deleting the time of his lap, indicates the prospect of running closer to the front of the Renault grid.
Behind Worstapen, McLaren’s Carlos Sanz set the fifth fastest time, before Daniel Caviet in the first Lesmo corner off-track moments and Lance Stroll’s second Alpha Tauri at Racing Point.
McLaren’s Norris, sporting a helmet with two different types of pizza as a tribute to Italy’s own left-field, had a restless session, possibly interrupted by an engine problem, perhaps by a hybrid power recovery system.