Sainz shades Norris as Perez ends second practice in gravel

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz gave the Tifosi something to cheer about as he narrowly led Lando Norris in second practice at the F1 Italian Grand Prix. 
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF

Sainz set the pace at the Monza circuit, just 0.019 seconds clear of his former McLaren teammate Norris, on his second low-fuel run on the soft tyre.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was 0.185s down in third but suffered a high-speed spin through the gravel before hitting the barriers at the exit of the final corner. 

Oscar Piastri put his McLaren fourth ahead of Max Verstappen, who was left frustrated not to get a proper qualifying simulation in after seeing his one and only soft tyre run ruined by traffic. 

That left the two-time world champion nearly three-tenths adrift in fifth as he bids for a record-breaking 10th consecutive victory this weekend. 

Charles Leclerc was sixth-fastest and 0.361s slower than teammate Sainz, who has held the upper hand at Ferrari so far at their home race. 

Alex Albon was an impressive seventh for Williams on the medium tyre, ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and George Russell, who was the quickest Mercedes driver in ninth. 

The top-10 order was completed by Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas. 

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Practice
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Lewis Hamilton was only 17th after carrying a 5mph straight-line speed deficit to teammate Russell following a set-up change ahead of FP2. 

The seven-time world champion, who along with Russell signed a fresh deal to stay with Mercedes until the end of 2025 going into the weekend, did not complete a soft tyre run. 

Lance Stroll will go into qualifying massively on the back foot after his Aston Martin ground to a halt with a sudden loss of power on just his third lap of the day. 

The issue kept Stroll, who sat out of first practice while Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich deputised, in the garage for the remainder of the session. 

Stroll’s stoppage caused the first of two red flags, the second of which was triggered by Perez’s late spin.

Read More