Monza Practice 2: Vettel blows them away as Red Bull dominate

Sebastian Vettel fastest of all on day one at Monza

Sebastian Vettel fastest of all on day one at Monza

If Monza is the temple of speed then Sebastian Vettel was the high priest on Friday as he powered his Red Bull to the top of the timing screens by a huge margin on the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

Not even his teammate Mark Webber, who ended the session second best, was 0.623 seconds down on his world champion teammate – a mighty gap considering that in the morning session the top 15 were separated by a second.

With the Red Bull duo hogging the top spots on the timing screens, best of the rest was Kimi Raikkonen in the heavily revised (longer wheelbase) Lotus with teammate Romain Grosjean fourth fastest setting an identical time to the sister car, making it a top four lock-out by Renault powered cars.

Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest

Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest

Fernando Alonso continued to show promise, a boost for Ferrari hopes on home soil, with the fifth fastest time with teammate Felipe Massa eighth fastest after being out of the top ten in the morning session.

Although Lewis Hamilton topped FP1, and was again faster than his teammate Nico Rosberg, the Briton – on a hot streak of four consecutive pole position starts – will be wondering how he will be able contain the Red Bulls as he was almost a second down on their hot lap pace. Hamilton and Rosberg with sixth and seventh respectively.

McLaren appear to have edged towards the front of the pecking order, now in sniffing distance of the top guns and possibly a step ahead of the midfield regulars. Jenson Button was ninth and teammate Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten.

Fernando Alonso looking good on 'home' soil

Fernando Alonso looking good on ‘home’ soil

The high speed nature of Monza invariably causes hot stopping moments, and in FP2 even the likes of Hamilton and Alonso had their ‘big moments’.

At the end of a busy day at one of the legendary venues of motorsport it appears that Red Bull have an edge which will prompt some serious head scratching among their rivals as they attempt to contain the gap.

Italian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 6 September 2013

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:24.453 39
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.076 0.623 39
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:25.116 0.663 36
4 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:25.116 0.663 40
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.330 0.877 38
6 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.340 0.887 39
7 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.367 0.914 42
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:25.519 1.066 29
9 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.532 1.079 42
10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.627 1.174 39
11 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:25.830 1.377 40
12 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.888 1.435 40
13 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:26.028 1.575 37
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:26.138 1.685 36
15 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:26.224 1.771 32
16 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.385 1.932 43
17 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:26.599 2.146 39
18 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:27.198 2.745 44
19 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.548 3.095 30
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:27.696 3.243 37
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:27.771 3.318 38
22 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:28.057 3.604 32
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