Monza Practice 2: Hamilton tops as McLaren dominates and Ferrari chases
7 September, 2012
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.
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
|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|
|11||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:26.104||0.814||35|
|13||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:26.394||1.104||31|
|23||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:28.575||3.285||34|
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- Italian Grand Prix: McLaren previews Monza
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- Perez: I hope we’ll be scrapping for points positions at Monza
- Button: Every time I jump into the car I know we have a chance of winning
- Dark days for Hamilton and McLaren despite Monza victory
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