Morning After: Lewis has work to do

2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-078 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-091 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-090 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-089 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-088 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-087 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-086 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-085 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-083 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-082 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-081 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-079 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-066 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-076 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-075 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-074 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-073 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-072 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-071 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-070 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-069 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-068 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-067 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-065 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-064 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-063 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-062 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-061 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-060 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-059 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-058 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-057 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-056 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-055 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-054 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-053 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-052 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-051 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-050 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-049 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-048 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-047 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-046 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-045 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-044 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-043 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-042 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-041 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-040 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-039 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-038 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-037 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-036 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-035 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-034 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-033 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-032 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-031 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-030 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-029 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-028 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-027 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-026 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-025 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-024 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-023 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-022 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-021 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-019 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-018 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-017 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-011 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-012 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-014 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-015 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-016 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-010 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-008 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-001 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-002 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice Sebastian Vettel 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-003 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-004 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-005 2017 Italian Grand Prix Practice-006
<
>

Perhaps more than any other race this season, Monza seemed destined to provide Mercedes – and Lewis Hamilton – a comfortable victory. Yet judging by Friday’s proceedings, things could still prove very interesting indeed.

After setting the tone with a dominant FP1, the three-time Italian Grand Prix winner found himself leapfrogged by teammate Valtteri Bottas in FP2, with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel closing up for good measure. Once looking like a walk in the park for the Brit, now it seems he has some work to do.

Of course, there’s undoubtedly more to come from Hamilton, and whether Vettel and Ferrari can keep pace remains to be seen, but Friday’s results were interesting particularly for what it meant vis-à-vis Bottas. 34 points behind Hamilton in the standings, this weekend represents something of a turning point in his season, as another inferior result here could seal his place as the number two driver for the rest of 2017, especially with Ferrari likely to have the advantage in Singapore and Malaysia. Simply put, Bottas has to make every lap count – so far, so good.

Red Bulls lead quartet of cars penalised back to the Stone Age

They may not be close to race-winning contention, but it’s fair to say Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso belong closer to the front than the Saubers. Unfortunately, they don’t have a choice this weekend.

With Ricciardo penalised 20 places (plus an additional 5 for a gearbox change), Verstappen 15, Sainz 10 and Alonso 35 for changing power unit components, the weekend is already farcical for four drivers who have been among the most impressive this season.

More than anything this goes to show the FIA’s restrictions on component usage is not in line with the reliability of their engines. Yes, Honda is a dumpster fire, but Renault aren’t that bad, and with eight races to go, it’s hard to see how any manufacturer makes it through unscathed (Mercedes took made their final allowed changes last week in Belgium).

Unavoidable penalties could end up playing a major role in the 2017 championship, and while it might be too late to make any changes now, surely this is proof the move to further limit components for 2018 should be stopped, if not reversed.

Quick Hits

Penalties aside, truly impressive pace from the McLarens, who managed P7 & 8 in FP2. Imagine what they’d do with a decent engine in the back.

Looks like no home-field advantage for Seb Vettel, then.

Knowing that Jon Snow and Davos Seaworth are F1-buddies somehow makes them even more likable. Can’t wait for season 8, though I’m not sure Davos will be on-board when he finds out about the incest.