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MERCEDES SETS THE PACE AHEAD OF ITALIAN GRAND PRIX

Valtteri Bottas fastest in practice ahead of the Italian Grand Prix - Photo: LAT

Valtteri Bottas fastest in practice ahead of the Italian Grand Prix – Photo: LAT

Mercedes have set the early pace in practice ahead of this weekends Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Both Mercedes drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, topped the time sheets during the two free practice sessions at the high speed Monza circuit.

Bottas narrowly edged out his teammate for fastest time of the day with a 1:21.406s lap on super-soft tyres in FP2.

Ferrari celebrating 70 years of the brand at home event - Photo: LAT

Ferrari celebrating 70 years of the brand at home event – Photo: LAT

Local favourites Ferrari, also celebrating their 70th anniversary of their first car, initially struggled to match the pace of the Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel did manage to close the gap by the end of FP2 to be within 0.140s of Bottas. The two drivers for the Italian marque comfortably third and fourth fastest.

The Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and six fastest, however they’ll have grid penalties to to deal with after qualifying.

McLaren Honda showed improved pace setting the seventh and eighth fastest times. However those times may not be indicative of their true pace, with Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso drafting each other in qualifying simulations to set the times.

McLaren Honda drivers drafting each other to set times - Photo: LAT

McLaren Honda drivers drafting each other to set times – Photo: LAT

Formula 1 – Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:21.406s 25
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.462s 0.056s 24
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.546s 0.140s 33
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.804s 0.398s 34
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1:22.409s 1.003s 34
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:22.752s 1.346s 22
7 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1:22.947s 1.541s 31
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:22.968s 1.562s 31
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:22.977s 1.571s 43
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:22.985s 1.579s 42
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:23.150s 1.744s 21
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:23.272s 1.866s 14
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:23.317s 1.911s 34
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:23.352s 1.946s 43
15 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:23.403s 1.997s 36
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:23.567s 2.161s 31
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:23.650s 2.244s 20
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1:24.253s 2.847s 28
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:24.894s 3.488s 39
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1:25.295s 3.889s 25

Formula 1 – Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.537s 28
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:21.972s 0.435s 31
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:22.652s 1.115s 24
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:22.689s 1.152s 28
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:22.742s 1.205s 28
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1:22.749s 1.212s 23
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:23.317s 1.780s 36
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:23.400s 1.863s 34
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1:23.465s 1.928s 24
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:23.561s 2.024s 37
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:23.680s 2.143s 22
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:23.973s 2.436s 22
13 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:23.991s 2.454s 30
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1:24.012s 2.475s 27
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:24.015s 2.478s 17
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:24.079s 2.542s 22
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:24.542s 3.005s 17
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:25.166s 3.629s 21
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1:25.223s 3.686s 26
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:25.687s 4.150s 17

We’ll have more of the latest news out of the Formula 1 paddock throughout the weekend, so make sure you follow on social media FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up to date.