Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2016

Mercedes stay ahead but Ferrari narrow the gap

2016 Italian Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in the second practice session for the Italian Grand Prix.

The world champion lapped the Monza track in 1’22.801, almost two-tenths of a second faster than team mate Nico Rosberg after an especially quick run through the final sector of the lap.

Sebastian Vettel, who set the fastest time through the first sector of the lap, got within half a second of the Mercedes pair. The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen ended the session in fourth.

Red Bull continued the symmetry with Max Verstappen fifth, though he was almost a second off Hamilton at a track which places an especially high demand on power. Daniel Ricciardo was sixth.

Despite a delayed start to his session and clutch problems during his running, Fernando Alonso found time to set a lap within one-and-a-half seconds of Hamilton to put his McLaren fifth. Both Honda-powered cars were inside the top ten, Jenson Button separated by his team mate from Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean.

Bottas almost matched Vettel’s quick run through the first sector. But team mate Felipe Massa lost time with a braking sensor fault.

Esteban Ocon suffered greater inconvenience as his Manor came to a stop approaching Lesmo 1 after just 13 laps.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’22.80140
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’22.9940.19342
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’23.2540.45332
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’23.4270.62628
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’23.7320.93124
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’24.0031.20232
714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’24.2591.45824
877Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’24.2991.49840
98Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’24.5161.71534
1022Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’24.5491.74828
1119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’24.5561.75519
1227Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’24.5871.78640
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’24.6531.85241
1421Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’24.6741.87333
159Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’24.9812.18025
1694Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’25.0832.28237
1755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.2402.43931
1831Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’25.2752.47413
1920Kevin MagnussenRenault1’25.5552.75439
2026Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.6142.81333
2112Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’25.6432.84231
2230Jolyon PalmerRenault1’25.8333.03244

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’22.801

+0.193 Nico Rosberg – 1’22.994

+0.453 Sebastian Vettel – 1’23.254

+0.626 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’23.427

+0.931 Max Verstappen – 1’23.732

+1.202 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’24.003

+1.458 Fernando Alonso – 1’24.259

+1.498 Valtteri Bottas – 1’24.299

+1.715 Romain Grosjean – 1’24.516

+1.748 Jenson Button – 1’24.549

+1.755 Felipe Massa – 1’24.556

+1.786 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’24.587

+1.852 Sergio Perez – 1’24.653

+1.873 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’24.674

+2.180 Marcus Ericsson – 1’24.981

+2.282 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’25.083

+2.439 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’25.240

+2.474 Esteban Ocon – 1’25.275

+2.754 Kevin Magnussen – 1’25.555

+2.813 Daniil Kvyat – 1’25.614

+2.842 Felipe Nasr – 1’25.643

+3.032 Jolyon Palmer – 1’25.833

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Mercedes stay ahead but Ferrari narrow the gap”

  1. Sorry for being out of topic but someone should tell FOM to change the onboard camera on Vettel and Hamilton’s car to the normal one at least for qualifying.

      1. Because you can’t see nothing on the right hand side and it diminishes the sense of speed.

        1. It takes all sorts of course, but I asked the question because I prefer the view from ‘helmet level’.

          If you’ve ever driven a car at racing speed with reclined seat position this gives a much more realistic view of what you can and can’t see of the track ahead. Also the movement of the drivers head over bumps, accelerating, braking and cornering makes for a more realistic impression of the pounding they get, it’s very physical, definitely not a cruise down the motorway.

          Can’t agree it diminishes the sense of speed, quite the opposite IMO.

  2. McLaren looking good on a power track. Maybe Spa was not a fluke. Within 1s of Ferrari at Monza in any session is great. I haven’t watched yet so I don’t know the tires story though.

    1. Or the fuel consumption story. They might have speed but haven’t the maclarens been in trouble before on tracks with lots of time on full throttle?

      1. They had big trouble at Hockenheim. But in any case, we don’t know if they are under-fueling to be competitive, assuming that there is about a 50% chance that some technical issue ends the race early anyway. With the max fuel consumption rate and rpms capped, I have a hard time seeing how any particular engine is suffering for extra consumption, or perhaps the “size-zero” means an under-sized fuel tank.

        1. McLaren are behind on fuel consumption simply because Honda are 1-2 years behind in development. besides the hybrid part of the engine, the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) has actually become more important then ever for fuel consumption. Fuel burn optimization has led f1 to go from about 20% to 50% efficiency from the petrol in the ICE in about 5 years. Mercedes led the charge, and the others are catching. the ICE technology is now filtering into road cars, but not necessarily because of F1, other manufacturers are working the technology anyway: http://www.hotrod.com/articles/video-infinitis-variable-compression-engine-reshapes-internal-combustion-engine-know/

          1. kpcart, it is funny that you should bring up the variable compression ratio engine from Infiniti, because I’ve seen quite a few people criticise it for actually being a relatively poor solution – whilst it does reduce the possibility of engine knock at high load, it potentially reduces the efficiency of the engine at high load and also introduces considerably greater complexity into the design of the engine, which could have a negative impact on reliability and increased frictional losses.

            In fact, Intiniti are actually quite late to the concept – Mercedes, for example, had a fully working prototype engine, called the “DiesOtto” engine, which incorporated variable compression ratio technology (along with significantly more advancements in ignition and fuel injection technology that the proposal by Infiniti) back in 2007. Saab, meanwhile, had a working design that was ready to go into production back in 2000, only for the company’s financial problems to delay implementation – Infiniti’s idea is hardly new.

            If anything, the concepts which Mercedes, and more recently Ferrari and Renault, have been employing, which is Mahle’s Turbulent Jet Ignition concept, are more likely to hit the road – in fact, Mahle originally developed that idea with road use in mind, but the manufacturer teams in F1 have been the first to incorporate that technology. It’s lighter than the Infiniti concept and offers fuel economy benefits across the whole rev range whilst being compatible with current technology – it’s probably more likely technology to hit the road and offer useful performance benefits.

    2. All times set on SS tyres.

    3. with McLaren, we always have to assume at least one year less engine development – so with their rate of improvement, they are looking good for a solid 2017, I believe Honda can make up the same amount of time next year as Renault did this year, so McLaren should be a top 4 top easily. Engine performance is finite to an extent, Mercedes started development in 2011 with trick technology no one knew about, but now Ferrari, Honda and Renault are catching – auto combustion without sparkplugs at high compression and variable combustion ratio technology – something car manufacturers are introducing soon.

  3. Yes, encouraging signs from McHonda these past two weekends

  4. WOW!!! McLaren with both cars in the top ten at Monza! Who would have thought?!

    1. Where are the commenters who keep telling about McLaren’s problems being the engine and not the chassis? Ha?

      1. It still is the engine. Chassis might not be great, but the engine is a problem.

        Look forward to them in Singapore though.

      2. The cornering speeds of the MP4-31s says that while the chassis may not be as good as those of Red Bull or Mercedes (in that order), it is at least on par or thereabouts with Ferrari and better than those of the rest. The main deficit is still the MGU-H and MGU-K systems.

        1. You might be right Henrik. SF chassis represents the unpredictable one. If Macca is on par, then we have a problem ;)

        2. what the hell is mp431

      3. When you’re 1.5 seconds off Mercedes at Monza, it’s the engine that’s the problem.

        1. That 1.5 second time beat every Merc engine on the grid except the ones in the back of Mercedes themselves. Are you actually saying for Williams, Force India and Manor the engine is the problem too?

          1. that 1.5 second time didnt beat anyone. this is testing, not competition.

            But given that Williams and Force India have a similar PU to Merc’s team then we can assume their deficit is in chassis. Which clearly it is as FI drivers were heavily complaining about balance.

            Many people assume DF and chassis arent a factor at Monza but this is an amateur view of the track – proven by RB’s DF dominance when they ran blown diffusers and smoked everyone without being highest in top speed.

            Mclaren is an unknown but Alonso stated today they wont be anywhere near the top teams in PU performance until next year. I’d say we’re seeing the PU from Honda finally powerful enough to activate Mclarens chassis into some real performance windows BUT we are far from seeing the Honda PU with enough power to properly challenge.

            PU = problem still.

    2. Perhaps the people who watched Spa would have thought?

  5. Why is force India slow?

    1. It’s just practice, so, I think they will improve.

  6. Just an observation @keithcollantine. Shouldn’t the end of paragraph 5 read, “…Jenson Button separated *from* his team mate *by* Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean.”?

  7. Alonso was basically the last person to set a time on SS. All others did their race setup at that time. Track improvement should also be accounted for when considering McLaren times.

    I expect Williams and Force India and maybe even Haas to be above McLaren here, come Saturday and Sunday.

  8. Michael Brown (@)
    2nd September 2016, 17:55

    I don’t know what’s going on with Croft but he continues to mix up the Ferrari and Williams drivers

  9. Anyone know if Pirelli has altered tyre pressures again?

  10. All the cars within almost 3 seconds! Very interesting i think for the race!

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