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F1 Italian GP: Hamilton back on top as Mercedes stays clear

Lewis Hamilton replaces Nico Rosberg at the top of the Italian Grand Prix timesheets at Monza, ahead of Ferrari and Red Bull.
ITALIAN GRAND PRIX - Free practice results (2)

Lewis Hamilton has ended the first day of Italian Grand Prix action at Monza with the fastest time after topping second free practice in another Mercedes 1-2.

Having trailed Nico Rosberg in the morning, Hamilton – despite more off-track moments under braking at the Roggia chicane - headed up FP2 with a 1min 22.801secs lap, a tenth quicker than his team-mate and title rival managed earlier in the day.

After enjoying a plus-second advantage over the opposition in FP1, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were able to reduce this to four tenths in the afternoon, with Kimi Raikkonen confirming the Scuderia's solid pace with the fourth best lap.

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Red Bull held down fifth and sixth, Max Verstappen leading Daniel Ricciardo, albeit around a second off the ultimate pace.

Despite a brief technical scare that resulted in his car being wheeled back into the garage, Fernando Alonso ended his day an eye-catching seventh fastest, the McLaren-Honda driver confirming the recent strides made as he emerged just two tenths behind Ricciardo and ahead of leading Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.

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Romain Grosjean made it two top ten results with ninth for Haas, while Jenson Button completed an unlikely double top ten for McLaren-Honda.

Elsewhere, Toro Rosso's tough weekend continued with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat down in 17th and 20th, behind the Manor's of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon in 16th and 18th, though the latter did stop on track with technical problems.

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