Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Monza, 2023

Sainz fastest on Friday as Perez ends second practice in the gravel

2023 Italian Grand Prix second practice

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Carlos Sainz Jnr put Ferrari quickest in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix as Sergio Perez spun out of the session.

The Ferrari driver set the pace with a 1’21.355, two-hundredths of a second faster than Lando Norris. Perez was third-fastest for Red Bull but ended his session in the gravel trap after spinning off at the final corner, Parabolica.

The second hour of practice saw clear, dry conditions as drivers returned to the high-speed circuit for the second practice session of the day. Cars took to the track with the majority choosing to do so on the medium compound, including the Red Bulls, Ferraris and Mercedes who all ran solely on the hard compound tyres for the first session.

After sitting out the first session to allow Felipe Drugovich to drive his car, Lance Stroll returned to the cockpit eager to get laps under his belt. However, on his second lap of the session, Stroll was forced to pull off the circuit with a suspected fuel system problem, bringing out the red flags and signalling the end of his session.

Following a short delay, the system restarted with drivers getting to complete their first timed laps of the session. Max Verstappen posted his first time on the mediums, instantly going quickest with a 1’22.259. Alexander Albon put his Williams second fastest with the use of the soft tyres, half a tenth slower than the Red Bull.

Oscar Piastri had to skip across the Roggia chicane after encountering the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who had backed off. But Hamilton was also struggling for speed even when pushing and was well down the order for the majority of the session.

The Ferraris of Sainz and Charles Leclerc jumped to the top of the times with Sainz almost three tenths faster than his team mate with a 1’21.565. Both Red Bull drivers, Verstappen and Perez, complained of having one of their push laps interrupted by traffic, leaving either of them unable to go quickest.

Sainz improved to a 1’21.355 with Norris putting his McLaren second-fastest just 0.019s slower than the Ferrari’s best. Perez improved to third, just under two tenths slower, but with under ten minutes remaining in the session the Red Bull driver ran wide at Parabolica, also known as Alboreto, and got onto the gravel on the outside, skidding backwards gently into the barrier.

The session was stopped while the slightly damaged Red Bull was recovered, eventually resuming with four minutes of session time remaining. All 18 remaining drivers took to the track for at least three final laps, but there were no improvements to personal best times, leaving Sainz as the fastest driver on his 29th birthday.

Norris was second for McLaren, ahead of Perez in third despite his session-ending spin. Piastri was fourth in the second McLaren, followed by Verstappen in fifth and Leclerc sixth. Albon was seventh for Williams, ahead of Fernando Alonso, George Russell and the two Haas cars of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen tenth and 11th.

2023 Italian Grand Prix second practice result

Position Number Driver Team Model Time Gap Laps
1 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-23 1’21.355 23
2 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL60 1’21.374 0.019 19
3 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB19 1’21.540 0.185 17
4 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL60 1’21.545 0.190 21
5 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB19 1’21.631 0.276 20
6 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 1’21.716 0.361 23
7 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW45 1’21.979 0.624 19
8 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR23 1’22.071 0.716 16
9 63 George Russell Mercedes W14 1’22.176 0.821 20
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari VF-23 1’22.291 0.936 19
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-23 1’22.574 1.219 21
12 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C43 1’22.595 1.240 19
13 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A523 1’22.651 1.296 22
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT AT04 1’22.696 1.341 23
15 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A523 1’22.716 1.361 22
16 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW45 1’22.755 1.400 24
17 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1’22.783 1.428 23
18 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT AT04 1’23.167 1.812 23
19 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C43 1’23.346 1.991 20
20 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR23 No time 2

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2023 Italian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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6 comments on “Sainz fastest on Friday as Perez ends second practice in the gravel”

  1. Checo’s line was weird, as were Yuki’s complaints in both sessions, even though the Mercs were clearly out of his way.
    I also noted how much some cars, especially Ferraris, bounced in both sessions.

  2. What were the long runs like?

    1. Long. Very long.

  3. VER has no chance this weekend. Look at these P2 results. He’ll only win by 5 seconds after he makes 2 late pit stops to secure fastest lap.

    1. LOL! 😂

      He’ll get out 50 metres from the finish line, pull the car over the line with his teeth, and still have time to watch the director’s cut of Justice League.

      1. Would be impressive, but I think Christian Fittapaldi’s 1993 Monza ” backflip” across the finish line @ 200 mph for 7th? is still more impressive.

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