Hamilton fastest as Ferrari closes gap in FP2

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Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of FP2 for the Italian Grand Prix as Ferrari closed the gap to Mercedes at Monza.

With Nico Rosberg having been quickest in the morning session, Hamilton hit back to lead his team-mate by 0.193s on Friday afternoon. Mercedes had been over a second clear of the rest of the field in FP1 but that gap was greatly reduced when Ferrari used the supersoft tyres for qualifying runs.

Sebastian Vettel was within half a second of Hamilton's best time and just 0.260s slower than Rosberg in third place. With Ferrari having introduced a power unit upgrade - costing it its final three development tokens - Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, less than 0.2s adrift.

The reduced gap highlighted Mercedes' struggles with getting as much performance out of the supersoft tyres compared to its rivals, which could prove more of a problem at Monza than it was in Spa as the tyres performed better over a long run during FP2.

Red Bull was next on the timing screens as Max Verstappen was fifth and Daniel Ricciardo sixth, although Verstappen was over 0.9s off the pace on a circuit not suited to the Renault power unit.

McLaren surprised after problems for Fernando Alonso, who suffered a reported hydraulic leak which prevented him running at the start of the session. Alonso also stopped at the end of the pit lane and complained of a clutch problem, but he rejoined on superset tyres to set the seventh fastest time ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Romain Grosjean and team-mate Jenson Button.

While Bottas was inside the top ten, team-mate Felipe Massa was hampered by brake problems which saw him limited to just 20 laps and miss out on a long run. However, Williams found itself ahead of Force India following quick lap times from Sergio Perez in FP1.

Esteban Ocon's session came to an early end when his Manor stopped just before the Lesmo curves, which required a brief Virtual Safety Car period to clear. At the end of running the Frenchman was two places behind team-mate Pascal Wehrlein but still found himself ahead of both Renaults, Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso and Felipe Nasr's Sauber.

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Pos Driver Team Time Laps
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.801 40
02 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.994 42
03 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:23.254 33
04 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:23.427 28
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:23.732 25
06 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.003 33
07 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:24.259 24
08 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:24.299 41
09 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:24.516 35
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1:24.549 28
11 Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.556 20
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:24.587 40
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.653 42
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:24.674 33
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:24.981 25
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:25.083 38
17 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:25.240 31
18 Esteban Ocon Manor 1:25.275 13
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:25.555 39
20 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:25.614 33
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:25.643 31
22 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:25.833 45