Sebastian Vettel negotiated an eventful Friday at Monza to end second practice fastest for Ferrari ahead of the Italian Grand Prix despite missing the bulk of the opening practice followed by a spin midway through FP2.

Vettel was unable to set a competitive lap time in the morning session which began in heavy rain as his car underwent an early gearbox change but bounced back in the afternoon topping the dry session with a 1m 21.105s to maintain his momentum from a dominant victory last weekend at the Belgium Grand Prix.

The German driver did have his FP2 stalled by a spin at Parabolica, which saw him clip the wall with the rear wing of his Ferrari, but after a quick fix was able to return to action without any lasting issues to complete 27 laps in the session.

“I thought I managed it without touching [the wall] but I had a slight touch so we broke a little bit the rear wing endplate which we had to change,” Vettel said. “I wanted to run but we had to check the car first, it was good that we got out this afternoon. I lost a bit of time with my spin but I was trying a bit too hard.”

“The car was fine so at least I got out of the sandpit which was difficult as a child but nowadays I don’t want to spend much time there. I am happy that I can carry on.”

Vettel is aiming to end Ferrari’s winless run at its home race in front of the Tifosi, with Fernando Alonso recording the Italian manufacturer’s last victory at Monza back in 2010, while he looks to eat into Lewis Hamilton’s 17-point lead in the Formula 1 world championship standings.

Mercedes has dominated at Monza in the V6 hybrid era with four consecutive race wins but having seen Ferrari’s performance gains this year Vettel is tipped as favourite for victory this weekend.