Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Monza, 2021

Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two after Sainz crashes heavily at Monza

2021 Italian Grand Prix second practice

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Mercedes underlined their pace advantage at Monza as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas led the final practice session before this afternoon’s sprint qualifying race.

The hour-long session was interrupted halfway though when Carlos Sainz Jnr crashed heavily at Ascari. The Ferrari driver climbed from the car unaided and was cleared following preliminary checks, but will undergo a further inspection ahead of sprint qualifying.

It continued a difficult weekend for Ferrari, who had to change the power unit on Charles Leclerc’s car after his problems on Friday. He switched back to his well-used original unit from the start of the season, putting him at a disadvantage at the most demanding track on the calendar for engines.

As second and final practice is held after qualifying under parc fermé conditions during a sprint qualifying weekend, team’s focused on relatively long runs, on high fuel, to gather data ahead of the two remaining, racing sessions. Most cars took their time to emerge from the garages, Nikita Mazepin the first driver on track.

Red Bull kept their drivers abreast of the times set by the Mercedes drivers and Lando Norris who will start closest to them on the grid for this afternoon’s sprint qualifying race. Max Verstappen led the times at the session’s quarter and half way points, with Sergio Perez just behind him, Red Bull seemingly at less of a disadvantage relative to Mercedes on race pace than they had during qualifying.

The session was relatively quiet as drivers got on with their programmes, until the halfway point when Sainz’s crash caused a 10-minute interruption. The Ferrari driver lost the back end of his car heading into Ascari and went nose-first into the barrier. “I had a massive crash,” he said on the radio. “That hurt a bit. But I’m okay.”

Practice resumed with 22 minutes remaining and drivers were quick to get back out on track. A few drivers reported being held up by traffic, though none as seriously as yesterday. Sebastian Vettel described the situation to his engineer as “messy” as he was unable to put clear laps together.

Both Alfa Romeo cars made the top 10, beating one Alpine, both AlphaTauri drivers and one McLaren. Ferrari ended the session in the bottom half of the times. Their running came to an early end after an unexplained radio message from Leclerc who pitted shortly before the end of the session. “Guys, I need to stop,” he said as he accelerated away from the Rettiflio. “I cannot explain here.”

During the final 10 minutes of the session Mercedes showed their speed around Monza, comfortably stripping Red Bull of the first and second fastest times, while both their drivers avoided using the medium compound tyres.

Mazepin was caught speeding by 6.8kph in the pit lane during the session, prompting a €700 fine for his Haas team.

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2021 Italian Grand Prix second practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’23.24625
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’23.4680.22224
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’23.6620.41623
411Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’23.9170.67129
531Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’24.2631.01720
688Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’24.2801.03428
799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’24.5021.25626
814Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’24.5391.29316
910Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’24.6541.40824
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.6651.41927
1116Charles LeclercFerrari1’24.7701.52421
123Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.7741.52824
136Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’24.8051.55923
1463George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’25.0831.83722
1522Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’25.4222.17632
169Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’25.7292.48323
1718Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’25.7632.51728
185Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’25.9352.68928
1947Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’26.0122.76625
2055Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’26.1242.87814

Second practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’23.246

+0.222 Valtteri Bottas – 1’23.468

+0.416 Max Verstappen – 1’23.662

+0.671 Sergio Perez – 1’23.917

+1.017 Esteban Ocon – 1’24.263

+1.034 Robert Kubica – 1’24.280

+1.256 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’24.502

+1.293 Fernando Alonso – 1’24.539

+1.408 Pierre Gasly – 1’24.654

+1.419 Lando Norris – 1’24.665

+1.524 Charles Leclerc – 1’24.770

+1.528 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’24.774

+1.559 Nicholas Latifi – 1’24.805

+1.837 George Russell – 1’25.083

+2.176 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’25.422

+2.483 Nikita Mazepin – 1’25.729

+2.517 Lance Stroll – 1’25.763

+2.689 Sebastian Vettel – 1’25.935

+2.766 Mick Schumacher – 1’26.012

+2.878 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’26.124

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’20.9261’23.24653
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’21.3781’23.66245
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’21.4511’23.46853
4Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’21.6761’25.76351
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’21.7191’24.65452
6Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’21.8241’25.93554
7Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’21.9141’26.12440
8Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’21.9261’24.53940
9Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’22.0031’24.77451
10Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’22.0391’23.91752
11Charles LeclercFerrari1’22.1021’24.77046
12Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’22.1031’24.66554
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’22.2701’24.50252
14Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’22.5301’25.42263
15Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’22.5341’24.26347
16Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’23.0091’24.28056
17George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’23.0921’25.08353
18Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’23.4421’24.80553
19Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’23.4451’25.72946
20Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’23.5511’26.01248

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2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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10 comments on “Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two after Sainz crashes heavily at Monza”

  1. I wonder who will pay for the damage ?

  2. 2nd consecutive Saturday practice crash for Carlos?

  3. Not a good Saturday so far for the Ferraris. First they had to revert back to an old engine on Leclerc’s car (probably becuase of the engine braking issues) and then Sainz had that weird crash – he seemed to pick up oversteer and wheelspin all at the same time. Fingers crossed they can repair the car and Carlos will be fit enough to race today.

    Mercedes setting the pace and RB lacking about 0.4 is hardly surprising, but it’s weird to see McLaren so far behind the two. Their long runs were too fast for race long runs and too slow for sprint long runs (Norris was hardly faster than Gasly and Leclerc).

    1. Merc times on soft RB on mediumsfor what it’s worth. Gives some hope it might be closer than qualifying suggested.

  4. Half a second between Mercedes and Red Bull is huge.

    Looks like McLaren only did race runs so difficult to say, but when Mercedes were doing that at the same time, they were also about half a second behind them.

    1. Agreed, half a second would be huge.
      But I only see a 0.19 sec gap from the lead Red Bull to Mercedes, and more like .4 to the lead Mercedes.

      1. The lead Mercedes was Bottas’, when it counted the most.

  5. Better to crash now than in the Sprint, if they can fix it before the sprint that is.

    Kubica is getting up to grips, if this fuel load is representative! He can’t be too dissatisfied with getting 2 decent races!

  6. “Sainz crashes heavily.” Not even a single photo, video, or a link to YouTube… What is the logic? The author believes visitors would follow a link to an external resource and never come back to this site afterwards?

  7. Again the Mercedes by far the fastest car.
    So it seems only 1 point is on the table for max..

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