Lewis Hamilton tops FP2 at Monza after Carlos Sainz caused red flag

11-09-2021 12:04 | Updated: 11-09-2021 12:07
F1 News
Lewis Hamilton tops FP2 at Monza after Carlos Sainz caused red flag

Lewis Hamilton ended the second and final free practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix as the quickest car, with his teammate Valtteri Bottas completing a Mercedes 1-2. Max Verstappen was quickest in the early stages, before Mercedes came to the party and toppled Red Bull, who finished third with Verstappen and fourth with Sergio Perez. The session was disrupted by a huge crash from Carlos Sainz, with the incident bringing out the red flag. Running was stopped for 10 minutes beforre getting back underway.

That incident ended Sainz's session, and ensured he finished rock bottom. At the other end of the scales, Esteban Ocon finished fourth with Robert Kubica, Antonio Giovinazzi, Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris rounding off the top 10.

As it happened

Nicholas Latifi was the first driver out on the Monza circuit, with the Haas of Mick Schumacher the first driver to set a flying lap. Schumacher's Haas teammate Nikita Mazepin put it a rare performance of promise, topping the timing sheet for the first few minutes of the session, and remained near the top for quite a while. With 15 minutes of the session completed, he was still in the top five of the standings.

Once the Red Bull cars got going, they showed their immense pace around the track. Sergio Perez went quickest, before he was toppled by teammate Max Verstappen. However, the pair soon weren't split by too much, but had managed to pull away from the rest of the field. Verstappen was over one second clear of Pierre Gasly in third, with Lewis Hamilton 1.465 seconds behind his title rival after 25 minutes of the session.

Then, came a huge moment. Carlos Sainz clipped the kerb at the Asari chicane, and on the exit, he completely lost control of the car, and he slammed into the wall with a big impact. The entire whole front of the car was destroyed, but the driver was thankfully okay. His session was obviously over.

That brought out the red flag, and the session was stopped for just over 10 minutes.

FP2 resumed with 20 minutes remaining, which meant the track was particularly busy at the end of the session.

Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica both entered the top 10 as Alfa Romeo looked competitive, while the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finally showed their hand. Both Mercedes drivers had looked a lot slower than Red Bull, but with less than 15 minutes to go, they moved into P1 and P2. Hamilton was just a little quicker than his departing teammate.

Disappointing session for Sainz

After qualifying in P7, ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc, on Friday evening, Sainz had a poor practice session. It's not the first time he's crashed for Ferrari, but this might've been the worst.

He completely lost control of his car at the Ascari chicane, and shunted into the wall with immense force. His entire front nose was completely damaged, and his session was over. The Ferrari mechanics were then forced to start a repair job in order for Sainz to start the sprint race.

Alfa Romeo impress

Despite only filling in for Kimi Raikkonnen, Robert Kubica ended the session up in P6, with Antonio Giovinazzi in seventh. Encouraging signs for the team, and they'll hope to make up some places in the sprint race.

Aston Martin struggle

While Alfa Romeo were quite quick, Aston Martin certainly weren't. Lance Stroll ended down in 17th, with Sebastian Vettel in 18th.

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