- Charles Leclerc continued his recent good form by topping both FP1 and FP2 at Monza on Friday for Ferrari. Leclerc has now led eight consecutive sessions – including all three legs of qualifying at Spa – for Ferrari. He edged out Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by just 0.068 seconds in FP2.

- After seeing how strong Ferrari was in a straight-line at Spa, Hamilton had expected it to be “very, very hard” for Mercedes to fight for victory at Monza. But the Briton was pleasantly surprised after FP2, having not only run Leclerc close over the short-runs but also shown a better pace than the Ferraris in his long-runs. “It looks like we’re going to have a fight,” he said.

- Valtteri Bottas echoed teammate Hamilton’s optimism, saying that despite the day being “messy” in terms of a run plan, Mercedes “have a good chance this weekend”

- FP1 offered drivers little in the way of representative running due to wet weather. Rain had fallen at Monza throughout the morning, forcing drivers to head out on full wet tyres at the start of practice. The track gradually dried to allow for intermediate running before eventually being clear enough for slicks in the final few minutes. Hamilton called the session “a bit of a pointless exercise.”

- Saturday is expected to remain dry at Monza, but rain is possible for Sunday. Charles Leclerc was told during a sprinkling of rain in FP2 that the conditions could be similar in the race, so to continue with his long run.

- Running at Monza was interrupted by four red flags on Friday. The first three hit for drivers going off-track in FP1, called for Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly. FP2 was halted briefly to allow for the track to be cleaned after Kevin Magnussen dragged gravel on at the exit of the second chicane.

- Raikkonen was typically non-plussed about his off. “These things happen,” he said. “Luckily I didn’t damage the car too much, just a bit here and there, so that was that. Not much track time lost anyway, but we didn’t get much work done in FP2 either because of the mixed conditions.”

- George Russell raised concern about a recovery truck being on the circuit while drivers were still returning to the pits following Perez’s off. Russell radioed: “What are they doing bringing a truck onto the track while we're still driving around? Just completely unnecessary, especially in these conditions.”

- Daniil Kvyat unveiled a special edition helmet for this weekend’s race, paying tribute to his adopted home of Italy. The red-based design has an Italian flag cutting through its middle, with Kvyat’s name and number in Roman numerals on the back.

- Sebastian Vettel is also running a special helmet this weekend, celebrating 90 years of Ferrari with a retro paint-chipped design of his regular white helmet.

- In further helmet chat, Alexander Albon ran different helmets in FP1 and FP2, using an all-white design in FP2 to try and improve the radio performance from the car. Albon swapped from Bell to Arai helmets upon joining Red Bull as the RB15 car is aerodynamically designed around an Arai helmet.

- Fernando Alonso was present in the paddock today with McLaren as part of his ambassadorial role with the team. The Spaniard remains an option should Lando Norris or Carlos Sainz be ruled out of action, although Sergey Sirotkin acts as its official reserve.

- In Formula 2, Callum Ilott claimed his first pole position in the category after topping a damp session for the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz. Ilott is the team’s sole entrant this weekend as teammate Juan Manuel Correa continues in rehabilitation following the accident at Spa last weekend. All F2 and F3 teams ran with messages for both Correa and the late Anthoine Hubert on their cars at Monza on Friday.

- Renault youngster Christian Lundgaard took pole in Formula 3 after qualifying was red flagged with three minutes to go due to drivers going slowly on-track, backing up to try and gain track position. It resulted in many drivers having to back off in the closing stages, similar to the situation in F1 qualifying last week in Spa. Ferrari juniors Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman will start P2 and P3 tomorrow.

- Ferrari legend Jody Scheckter was on-site on Friday to complete a show run in his 1979 championship-winning car, the 312 T4. He was reunited with many of the mechanics who also worked on his car during his title-winning season, going out for dinner with them on Thursday night.



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