Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2

Following FP2 for the Italian Grand Prix, Chris Soulsby looks at the session which saw Valtteri Bottas set the pace for Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 1, 2017 in Monza, Italy.

Formula 1 returned for the second practice session of the Italian Grand Prix weekend. After the interchangeable conditions of FP1, the Monza circuit dried out for FP2 and it was a session of long distance running, with teams collecting data on tyre wear to calculate potential strategy options for Sunday’s race.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2

At the start of the session, much of the running was set on the soft compound tyre after practice one was dominated by the presence of the supersofts, and it was unsurprising to see Mercedes emerge as the fastest team with a 1-2 in the early stages of the session during long distance running.

With 50 minutes to go, the entire field made the switch back to the supersoft tyre and there was immediately an improvement in pace, with Lewis Hamilton going half a second faster on his first tour of the circuit on that compound.

FP2 was relatively uninterrupted although the yellow flags waved for Lance Stroll with 51 minutes remaining after the Canadian spun his Williams at the Ascari chicane. This did not do any damage however, and he was able to continue running in the session.

It was also a difficult session for Toro Rosso, who suffered an engine failure on Carlos Sainz Jr’s car with just under 30 minutes of the session left. When lapping on the supersofts, oil began to belch out of the back of his Renault power unit and he came to a stop in the second sector, ending his session early. Daniil Kvyat also fell victim to reliability problems, being told to pit by his race engineer with an issue.

While Toro Rosso suffered an engine failure courtesy of Renault, the French manufacturer had its own issues in its garage, with Nico Hulkenberg’s running being cut short through a hydraulic failure and Jolyon Palmer’s also being disrupted.

Kevin Magnussen’s session also ended early after the Dane suffered from a right rear suspension failure on his Haas.

When the checkered flag waved, Mercedes once again set the pace. This time however, it was Valtteri Bottas who had the edge over Lewis Hamilton, being only 0.056 seconds faster than his team mate. Sebastian Vettel was only 0.140 seconds slower than Bottas’ 1:21.406, showing that Ferrari is in range of Mercedes this weekend.

Results from Practice 2 of the Italian Grand Prix:

  1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:21.406
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:21.462
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:21.546
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:21.804
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:22.409
  6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:22.752
  7. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:22.968
  8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:22.968
  9. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:22.977
  10. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:22.985
  11. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:23.150
  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:23.272
  13. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:23.317
  14. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:23.352
  15. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:23.403
  16. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:23.567
  17. Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:23.650
  18. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:24.253
  19. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:24.894
  20. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:25.295

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Studying Media and Communications at Oxford Brookes University, Chris began writing for Last Word On Sports in March 2016. In the May of the same year, he was appointed as Associate Editor for the Motorsport department. Chris has since been appointed as the Department Head for Motorsport, being appointed in July 2016. Chris has a passion for Formula 1 and is a keen follower of Formula 2. It is his dream to become a Journalist or a Press Officer in the sport that he loves after graduating from university.


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