Monza Practice 2: Hamilton tops as McLaren dominates and Ferrari chases 7 September, 2012 Lewis Hamilton was fastest of all on day one at Monza in the McLaren MP4-27 Sep.7 (GP247) Lewis Hamilton put his ongoing sagas behind him and did the business in the second free practice of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza, to claim top spot on the timing sheets ahead of McLaren teammate Jenson Button. Hamilton who has the media spotlight on him since last weekend at Spa – with his Twitter rant, first corner shunt and the ongoing new contract negotiations – put the distractions aside for the 90 minutes at the ‘Temple of Speed’ to clock a time of 1 minute 25.290 seconds which was the fastest on a bright and sunny day which was a bright contrast to the Friday washout a week previously in the Ardennes forest. Next up and a mere 0.038 seconds adrift of the top time was Button, fresh from his win at Spa. The McLaren MP4-27 appears to be the car to beat in Italy this weekend, although the Ferrari duo were looking mighty on their home track. Fernando Alonso was third fastest in the Ferrari F2012, 0.058 seconds off Hamilton, but it was hardly a straightforward day for the world championship leader who had apparent engine issues in FP1 and in the afternoon session appeared to have problems with the brakes midway through the session and towards the end a gearbox problem seemed to have arisen. He only managed 17 laps in total, which was half of what his main rivals managed. Not far off his teammate’s best was Felipe Massa who ended the session fourth fastest and racked up a massive 43 laps around Monza. Nico Rosberg, fifth fastest, was the better of the two Mercedes drivers after Michael Schumacher topped the morning session, but was 10th in the afternoon stanza. Heading the Renault powered brigade was Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus E20. His teammate (for Monza) Jerome D’Ambrosio will be happy with his first grand prix weekend in a race cockpit since the Brazilian GP last year. he ended the day 12th, but just over half a second off Raikkonen’s best. Paul Di Resta, who sat out the first session as reserve driver Jules Bianchi did duty, was 0.001 seconds quicker than Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg; the pair ending the session seventh and eighth respectively. Fastest of the Saubers was Sergio Perez with the ninth best time, while Kamui Kobayashi could only manage 17 laps and ended the day down in 16th, the Japanese driver clearly nursing a problem as he even spun while attempting to travel in a straight line! Also out of the top ten, perhaps keeping their powder dry until it really matters, were the Red Bull drivers with Mark Webber ending the session 11th and world champion Sebastian Vettel 13th. Less than a second separated the top dozen drivers at the end of ninety minutes, suggesting another epic qualifying battle at one of the sport’s most awe inspiring circuits. Subbed by AJN. Italian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 7 September 2012 Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.290 32 2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.328 0.038 35 3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.348 0.058 17 4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:25.430 0.140 43 5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.446 0.156 41 6 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:25.504 0.214 42 7 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:25.546 0.256 40 8 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:25.547 0.257 36 9 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.068 0.778 32 10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.094 0.804 38 11 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:26.104 0.814 35 12 10 Jerome D’Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1:26.157 0.867 36 13 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:26.394 1.104 31 14 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:26.404 1.114 42 15 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:26.724 1.434 33 16 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.730 1.440 17 17 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:26.783 1.493 39 18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:26.841 1.551 39 19 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:26.864 1.574 36 20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:27.222 1.932 36 21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.944 2.654 36 22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.968 2.678 36 23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:28.575 3.285 34 24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:28.779 3.489 21 Related NewsMcLaren: A disappointing end to a frustrating weekendMcLaren: Very solid performances by both Checo and JensonMcLaren: We managed to complete a very positive programmeButton: I want to be at McLaren in 2015, that is an important yearItalian Grand Prix: McLaren previews MonzaButton: There’s nowhere quite like Monza when you hook up a good lapPerez: I hope we’ll be scrapping for points positions at MonzaButton: Every time I jump into the car I know we have a chance of winningDark days for Hamilton and McLaren despite Monza victoryMassa obeys team orders but Button is still fighting fools 17 laps and 3rd fastest Alonsno…and with the engine error and brakes…we should have a nice boost with Tifosi during the qual and gp race. Cant wait… As for Massa…he better get moving quick…we need him! fools Force India almost identical in term of lap time…Wow Lol. @Fools Also Marussia very close – something else for Timo to cry about fools @LOL LOL Psych4191 I honestly believe if Senna was given more time in the car he’d be the quicker of the two Williams drivers. He’s already shown his race pace is smarter and quicker, he just needs to up his qualifying. Only three tenths down on Maldonado after Pastor has 90 more minutes in the car.. that’s pretty good to be honest. Forza Ferrari That looked like a very promising start for Ferrari on their home turf. Hopefully Alonso’s crew can put those little mechanical difficulties behind them and get a really great result on this weekend, and same goes for Felipe. Both cars seemed to have really good pace, the only problem was Fernando’s car’s technical issues but that shouldn’t be a cause for too much concern, at least I hope so. Go-Go-Gooo Ferrari!!! McLaren Fan @Psych4191 Agreed Pastor Maldonado 90 minutes is a big advantage over senna who is learning the tracks and trying to set his car up. Kimi4WDC Looks like Mercs and Lotus done their race homework. Can’t wait for FP3 and Quali. Uday Motwani Force India are looking impressive. Come on Hulk. hillside i hope it rains in quali!