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Thu Apr 24 03:13:21 SAST 2014

Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2 after second practice

TEAMtalk Media | 08 September, 2012 08:530 Comments
F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Practice
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren drives during practice for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 7, 2012 in Monza, Italy
Image by: Clive Mason / Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets at Monza on Friday afternoon, edging Jenson Button in a closely-fought practice session.

With the track temperature up to a sweltering 40'C, Jerome D'Ambrosio, filling in for the banned Romain Grosjean, got proceedings underway with a 1:30.609. The Belgian was quickly down the order as the drivers did not waste any time getting down to business.

Kimi Raikkonen set the early pace with a 1:26.093 but was soon dropped as Belgian GP winner Jenson Button hit the front before he too lost out, this time to Nico Rosberg, while it was Fernando Alonso who was leading the way after the first 30 minutes with a 1:25.350.

Mercedes ran into a few problems when both Michael Schumacher and Rosberg suffered DRS problems with their rear wings. Merc revealed that Schumacher would run without the device for the rest of the session.

Despite swapping to the medium compound tyres just before the halfway stage, Alonso's first lap time was slower than his best on the harder Pirellis. This was repeated by others with Serio Perez and Rosberg also slower on their first attempts.

Alonso soon headed back into the pits have told his Ferrari team that something "broke" on the left front of his Ferrari, which was reported to be brake related. The Spaniard was still in front at the halfway point.

While the Spaniard was in the pits Button hit the front with a 1:25.328, the first driver to improve his time on the medium tyres. He was overhauled by his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was 0.038s quicker.

With 30 minutes remaining it was McLaren, McLaren, Ferrari, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus. The big omission is that mix: Red Bull. They were 11th and 13th with Mark Webber ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

More problems for Alonso as he returns to the pits, this time it was his gearbox. It seemed to be game over as he climbed out of his stricken Ferrari. Narain Karthikeya joined Alonso on the sidelines with HRT reporting a "small" technical problem with his car.

With drivers struggling to up the pace in the final few minutes, Practice Two ended with Hamilton quickest with his 1:25.290 ahead of Button and Alonso.

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