FP2 report: Leclerc completes Friday practice double in Monza

06-09-2019 15:30 | Updated: 06-09-2019 15:34
by Matt Gretton
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FP2 report: Leclerc completes Friday practice double in Monza

Charles Leclerc has completed the Friday practice double less than a week after winning his first Formula 1 Grand Prix. Once again, the Ferrari car looks strong with straight-line speed. Mercedes attempted the tow as they look to use that during qualifying to knock Ferrari off the top. 

Lewis Hamilton managed to split the two Ferraris. Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top three which was closely followed by Valtteri Bottas. Leclerc's fastest time of a 1:28.978 was recorded earlier in the session before the rain. 

Max Verstappen and Alex Albon follow closely behind, with Pierre Gasly taking the best of the rest place. 

How it happened? 

With the track much drier than it was during FP1, the pitlane exploded into life when the track went green. Teams and drivers looked keen to make up for lost time as a result of the weather and red flags earlier in the day. 

The big boys set the lap times straight away, with Hamilton leading after the first few laps. He was followed by Leclerc and then Verstappen as the fight at the top looks rather tight. 

With rain approaching, the teams put on the soft tyres. They seem to be about 1-second faster than the mediums as Leclerc and Vettel took charge of the top two places. The two Red Bul cars followed closely behind. 

At the hour mark, the stewards and marshalls took advantage of a quiet track by bringing out the red flags. Some gravel had dropped on track which needed to be swept up. 

With the threat of rain always on the radar, little running was carried out in the second half of the session. The Mercedes cars finally put the soft tyres on to have a qualifying simulation. Hamilton and Bottas attempted to find the tow and it resulted in Hamilton climbing up to P2. 

With similar conditions forecast for Sunday, the teams didn't stop their practice runs. Instead, they tried to make the most of the conditions. 

Lando Norris was in the garage for most of the session after picking up a hydraulic issue. The British driver made it back out on track 10 minutes before the end but didn't climb very high in the timesheet. 

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