Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2020

Mercedes ahead by almost nine-tenths as traffic causes concerns

2020 Italian Grand Prix second practice

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Mercedes set the pace in second practice at Monza, with only Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly able to get within a second of Lewis Hamilon’s session-topping lap time.

Valtteri Bottas made it a one-two for the W11s, which remained comfortably the class of the field.

Traffic was a concern for many drivers when they came to do their qualifying simulations halfway through the session. George Russell, going out for his first running at Monza this weekend after Roy Nissany drove his car during first practice, warned: “There’s going to be a shunt sometime, in all of this” as the drivers backed each other up.

The complications caused by drivers waiting to get a slipstream were seen at Spa last weekend and particularly at Monza 12 months ago. It continued today with many drivers complaining about traffic affecting times.

The other main concern of the afternoon was lap times being deleted for track limits violations. Charles Leclerc, one of many drivers to lose a lap time, said he wanted to review his onboard video to understand where he had transgressed.

Mercedes’ times continued to seem virtually unbeatable, with only Gasly able to get within a second of Hamilton and Bottas for almost the whole of the session. Gasly moved into third after the majority of cars ran qualifying simulations on soft tyres and remained there until the final moments of the session.

Engine problems confined Norris to the garage for much of the session. Having done only five laps apparently due to problems with his Energy Recovery System – Norris said on the radio there was “no deployment” – the McLaren driver emerged from the pits in the last five minutes and managed to get a well-timed lap to take third place.

Ferrari’s home grand prix woes continued. “This car is so difficult to drive” said Leclerc, who was the quickest Ferrari-powered driver in eighth. He ran wide at Lesmo 1 at one point, where team mate Sebastian Vettel spun. “The rear was nowhere already the two laps before,” Vettel explained on the radio, “I tried to lean on it.”

Verstappen took the fifth-placed time, followed by Sainz less than a tenth behind him in sixth. Daniil Kvyat and Lance Stroll stayed within a tenth of them but eighth-placed Leclerc was nearly two-tenths off and Sergio Perez another tenth back from him.

Alexander Albon, third-quickest in first practice, fell to 14th in the second session, nearly a second off Norrise.

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2020 Italian Grand Prix Second Practice classification

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’20.192 32
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’20.454 0.262 29
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’21.089 0.897 19
4 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1’21.121 0.929 25
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’21.228 1.036 30
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren-Renault 1’21.313 1.121 30
7 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1’21.376 1.184 35
8 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1’21.389 1.197 32
9 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’21.503 1.311 32
10 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1’21.594 1.402 31
11 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1’21.697 1.505 32
12 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’21.733 1.541 28
13 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’21.786 1.594 32
14 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1’21.883 1.691 36
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1’22.080 1.888 29
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’22.088 1.896 32
17 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’22.147 1.955 34
18 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’22.254 2.062 34
19 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1’22.825 2.633 32
20 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’22.927 2.735 34

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’20.192

+0.262 Valtteri Bottas – 1’20.454

+0.897 Lando Norris – 1’21.089

+0.929 Pierre Gasly – 1’21.121

+1.036 Max Verstappen – 1’21.228

+1.121 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’21.313

+1.184 Daniil Kvyat – 1’21.376

+1.197 Lance Stroll – 1’21.389

+1.311 Charles Leclerc – 1’21.503

+1.402 Sergio Perez – 1’21.594

+1.505 Esteban Ocon – 1’21.697

+1.541 Sebastian Vettel – 1’21.733

+1.594 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’21.786

+1.691 Alexander Albon – 1’21.883

+1.888 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’22.080

+1.896 Kevin Magnussen – 1’22.088

+1.955 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’22.147

+2.062 Romain Grosjean – 1’22.254

+2.633 Nicholas Latifi – 1’22.825

+2.735 George Russell – 1’22.927

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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40 comments on “Mercedes ahead by almost nine-tenths as traffic causes concerns”

  1. As much as I hate to say it. Yawn.

    1. It seems the Usual HAM-BOT-VER will be served Tomorrow and on Sunday.

      1. Bored with max in p3 every race. Yawnnnnnnnn…….
        Time for Ricciardo to take p3. Merc is simply aweeeeesomeee! 😀

        1. Surprising as it may be, Verstappen has only finished 3rd twice this year, in the Styrian GP and Spa. However, he has finished 2nd on 3 occasions.

  2. Its sad that we fans are relieved after watching Ferrari back at the usual P9-P12 zone after SPA horror show. But i guess thats the best that could be done this season.

  3. Ricciardo should get a mention, he went under 1m21s but went slightly wide and got his lap time taken away.

    1. Yup, he might be the only factor that could make the race for 3rd interesting.

  4. Oh dear!
    Their blatant attempt to slow down Mercedes backfired! Spectacularly!

    Oh dear! Oh dear!

    1. And Mclaren overtaking RBR?!


      1. if i put any weight to practice times yes sure but if so i wouldnt say rbr/mcl i would say honda vs renault power units so IF this has merit and we see it tomorrow and in the race it would mean the base renault pu is pretty good which is shocking xD

    2. Who would have predicted that? And that marathi saying couldn’t have been more apt for both Ferrari(recommending the ban to FIA) and for Marko(who seems to have backed this ban).

    3. We haven’t seen qualifying yet…

      1. agreed, practice doesnt show the real picture, i still find it amazing people still put any real weight to practice times (and winter testing) #facepalm

  5. The article title is a mistake, it should read MERCEDES ahead by almost nine-tenths, not Hamilton ahead by almost nine-tenths, as he was 0.267 ahead of Bottas. Edit before it spreads on Facebook as I found this article on facebook. This site doesn’t need viral hate commentary.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      4th September 2020, 16:23

      It’s already too late for that one sadly.

    2. something iffy has ben going on latly with the articles, sure the occasinal language error or spelling error happened but latly its getting MUCH worse with titles not making sense at all and in the articles there can be entire sentances typed in what looks like english but when read it just confuses you…

      1. Don’t take this personally but the irony of you complaining about language and spelling errors is too great to ignore.

        1. i not good no but im also not writing these articles, and you understood what i meant yes? certain articles over the last week have entire sentances that make absolutly no sense.

      2. Probably because they are not being written by Keith. It seems like some outsourcing is going on

        1. thats what i meant by iffy, it looks copy/pasted and not proofread :(

          1. @hazelsouthwell is an excellent journalist who reguarly writes for racefans – I’d hardly call it outsourcing. In these “immediately after the session” reports the odd typo has always been common – I imagine they’re rushed out as quickly as they can for those fans who are eager to gobble up the news immediately.

            The article title does say “Mercedes” rather than “Hamilton”, although I accept the trapline on the front page could be a little misleading.

  6. No mention of Ricciardo’s lap that was deleted? Renault seemed to be showing some serious pace there, although he seemed to have some ideal tow from all the traffic on that strange lap.

  7. Bottas doing his usual early blooming and wilting as the weekend progresses. Same old story.

    1. maybe if we just ignore him and stop talking about him he’ll go away xD

  8. When are people going to realise that it’s not so much Mercedes’ engine giving them their huge advantage, it’s their incredible chassis. If it was all engine, surely at this track of all others, we’d just have an all-Mercedes powered top six? The best power unit is nothing if you can’t harness it and carry speed around the corners.

    1. it is neither, it is the PACKAGE which means TEAM, PU, CHASSI, FUEL, DRIVERS.
      also the cassi is only good at leading the pack due to low rake concept which merc/RP are the only ones on the grid running as soon as the merc is behind another car it is nowhere, and this is even more obvious on the tracing point which has amazing pace in quali/free air but barly beats an alpha tauri in the race, so your chassi hype is just BS.

  9. “Norrise” what the hell is going on with the articles latly?

    1. They seem really overworked…

  10. Might be time for Ham to be gifted half a trophy per year for these easy ‘championships’.

    At least the cars of Schumacher’s and Vettel’s dominant years were spectacular to look at, unlike these snooze fest lumbering limos.

    1. Huh, brain damage???
      At least merc allows the team mates to race and Bottas is always very close to Lewis 8n Quali.

      MSc stole team mate’s win. Vettel is fired. Get over it.

    2. Seems like some pretty fast limos then, considering theyre setting course lap records and have the best grips in cornering.

  11. The last couple of races have been cringingly dull. Was kinda hoping this one would be different.

    1. Every race minus the dumb 70th anniversary fake tire show was supreme. DOMINATION.

  12. Does anyone have info on long run pace please?

    1. Well, here’s some info: Merc fastest. Williams slowest.

    2. @Joe

      I believe on the soft tyres HAM averaged low 1 24s, BOT mid 24s and the closest challengers were actually Mclaren in the low 25s. Verstappen’s session was compromised after his shunt.

      Source: Crofty, Sky F1.

  13. Ferrari’s home grand prix woes continued. “This car is so difficult to drive” said Leclerc, who was the quickest Ferrari-powered driver in eighth. He ran wide at Lesmo 1 at one point, where team mate Sebastian Vettel spun. “The rear was nowhere already the two laps before,” Vettel explained on the radio, “I tried to lean on it.”

    So it’s not just the engine?

    1. most likly scenario:

      We build an mama mia engine with fuel cheat, forget chassi now we go super mario speed yes? chassi is for who cannot build a mama mia engine!

      (insert bad impression of an italian accent)

      in all seriousness im thinking the engine power they had with cheats covered up how bad their actual chassi was bc we have seen the ferrari doing piruettes for a few seasons now.

  14. I believe that Ferarri (and some others) are trying to run as low downforce configuration as possible in an effort to offset some perceived loss with the ban on the “qualy mode” that the cars are more difficult to drive, with more “offs”.

    1. = an already “twitchy” chassi design (evident by vettel on ice over the last few years) route made worse by low downforce aero, something they could “solve” before 2020 with more engine power to compensate for adding on inneficient downforce (wing angle etc) to make it less “twitchy”, to me that seems logical atleast.

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