F1 Italian Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton fastest in FP2, Norris impresses, Bottas second – latest updates

LEWIS HAMILTON went quickest in FP2 as he edged out teammate Valtteri Bottas at Monza.

The Brit star is targeting a sixth race win of the season as he continues his bid for another F1 drivers' championship title.

Follow for all the latest ahead of Sunday's race in Monza below…

  • GOOD MORNING, RACE FANS

    It’s qualy day in North-East Italy as we get to find out which of the two Mercedes will take pole position for the Italian GP.

    Of course, things might not go to plan for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas – but they sure look likely to.

    Bottas topped the FP1 timing sheet yesterday in a Merc 1-2.

    The order was reversed with Hamilton leading FP2, almost a second ahead of Lando Norris in third.

    Pierre Gasly took fourth in the classification on a strong day for Alpha Tauri, with Max Verstappen fifth after a crash in FP1.

    Sebastian Vettel had a typically rough day and was back in 19th in FP1, behind Williams test rookie Roy Nissany.

    The German notched 12th in the afternoon, over 1.5 seconds off the lead.

    However, Monza’s notorious power-hungry demands could shake things up today.

    With the need for clean air huge, backing up ahead of the Paribolica is a potentially huge issue.

    Hamilton stated yesterday: “It was difficult in the past, and obviously we didn't even get to do the last lap last year.

    “It's going to be interesting – I heard they might put in a minimum time that we have to do an out lap, maybe that will help.

    “That is still going to be a nightmare.”

    Verstappen added: “I think everybody will go for the tow again. It's getting more and more powerful every single year because of the increased downforce on the cars.

    “So you will see in Q3 again that people will try to tow each other around.”

  • TOMORROW’S TIMES

    Don’t miss a lap tomorrow with our live blog keeping you right up to date with the FP3 and qualifying action.

    Set your alarms for 10am UK time for the final practice session at Monza.

    Qualifying then gets underway at 2pm.

    Sky Sports F1 is showing the Grand Prix live with highlights on Channel 4, at 6.30pm.

  • C'MON THEN

    The F1 circus is in town for the Italian GP this weekend.

    Take a trip around Monza with our virtual on-board footage.

  • TRAFFIC JAM

    Lewis Hamilton fears drivers backing up will wreck tomorrow’s qualifying.

    With clean air lending such an advantage on the huge start-finish straight at Monza, drivers have been waiting ahead of Parabolica for the perfect launch.

    And Hamilton fears such a traffic jam could have huge implications.

    He said this afternoon: “It was difficult in the past, and obviously we didn't even get to do the last lap last year.

    “It's going to be interesting – I heard they might put in a minimum time that we have to do an out lap, maybe that will help.

    “But I think it's going to be a nightmare on the last corner still, with everyone trying to get a gap. It's definitely going to be hard work.”

  • RED FACED

    Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has claimed Red Bull have “missed a trick” by not developing their own engine for F1.

    Max Verstappen’s team have struggled to match Mercedes for pure pace in the hybrid era, leading to the collapse of their partnership with Renault.

    Abiteboul stated: “I think Red Bull is a fantastic team but in my opinion Red Bull has missed a trick of modern Formula 1, where you can't have a chassis organisation and an engine organisation that are so distinct.

    “You can't think of that, if you want to fight for wins in a consistent manner.

    “So probably the struggles that it can face at the start of the season, but eventually even across all of the season, is a demonstration of that: you really need to be one group of people, one team, with one mindset.”

    He added: “We have failed to do that all together. It just looks like they [Red Bull] are not able to do much better with Honda.”

  • MER TO COME

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted to being “surprised” by Mercedes' advantage today – but insists the championship leaders are not satisfied.

    Comfortable 1-2 leads were secured in both Friday practice sessions, with the Finn leading in the morning before Lewis Hamilton claimed FP2.

    Bottas said: “It felt pretty good all through the day.

    “I’m sure we can still improve it.

    “I would say the biggest issue for me was a bit of a lack of stability in a few corners on the rear end, but other than that, pretty good.

    “I think the performance and the lap times compared to others, it’s slightly surprising at this point. Of course we’ll see tomorrow.”

  • VETT-ER DO BETTER

    Sebastian Vettel does need a turnaround this season…

    But this was not the one he was hoping for!

  • BREAKING

    Two members of team staff and track personnel have been diagnosed with Covid-19. They remain unnamed at this moment in time.

  • TRUE CAL-LING

    After the fun of F1 free practice, motorsport's up-and-coming stars have just finished their F2 qualifying run.

    Callum Ilott takes pole position for the second year in a row at Monza.

    The Ferrari Academy youngster leads Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda on the front row, with Luca Ghiotto and Christian Lundgaard in third and fourth.

    There was a dramatic finale too, with the red flag pulled out when Mick Schumacher binned his Prema in the barriers!

  • FP2 CLASSIFICATION

  • LEW BEAUTY

    Lewis Hamilton set the early pace for the Italian GP after topping the second practice session.

    The Brit was was second in the morning session but was quicker than his Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, in FP2.

    Fellow Brit Lando Norris was third in a surprise as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had to settle for fifth.

    But there was more woe for Ferrari, who risk yet another shocker in their home race.

    Sebastian Vettel was down in 19th place in FP1 while he recovered to 12th in the second session.

    And Charles Leclerc was 11th FP1 and ninth in FP2 but both drivers were critical of their cars’ performances.

    Vettel spun off while Leclerc also struggled to stay on track and snapped over the radio that his car was “so hard to drive”.

  • FP2 IS DONE

    Hamilton leads Bottas but there is a shock in P3, as McLaren's Lando Norris is in third place after recovering from his power problems.

    Pierre Galsy is fourth-quickest ahead of Verstappen in fifth and Carlos Sainz in sixth.

  • VETTEL'S £3,000 DONATION

    SEBASTIAN VETTEL has donated over £3,000 to charity by turning his Ferrari team members into cardboard cutouts.

    The Italian GP bosses are raising money by selling €40 packages to allow fans to upload their pictures into a virtual grandstand at Monza – a behind closed-doors race.

    Vettel purchased 76 seats and set about photographing his engineers and mechanics before uploading their images to the grandstand.

    The German, who is leaving the team at the end of the season, also made a personal donation to the charities including Italy's National Institute for Infectious Diseases and another that deals with preventing and fighting cardiovascular diseases.

  • IT GETS WORSE….LECLERC NOW GOES OFF TRACK

    He radios the team saying “this car is so hard to drive”.

    Ferrari are in a real mess here.

  • A SPIN FOR VETTEL

    12 months on from the spin that saw him return to the track by driving into Lance Stroll, Vettel spins again.

    An unforced error and he reports that “the car is fine, just the tyres a little bit flat-spotted”.

    it is going from bad to worse.

  • McLAREN'S MIXED DAY

    While Norris's mechanics look into his engine problems, Carlos Sainz in the other garage is going great.

    He is in P5, desperate for a good race after power unit failure in Spa meant he did not even start the race.

    The Spaniard, who celebrated his 26th birthday earlier this week, is of course joining Ferrari next season.

  • LECLERC IS NOT HAPPY

    He has been on the radio to Ferrari and said: “What a disaster. I mean, it's OK, it's good training for qualy, but it's going to be a disaster”.

    His time puts him in 8th in the pecking order right now some 1.3 seconds off Hamilton's time.

  • 30 MINUTES REMAINING

    Just Lando Norris is now on track and he is reporting a power issue with his Renault engine in his McLaren.

    The Brit was comfortably in this morning's session but he is now running in last place.

    His team have called him in to the pits to investigate.

  • IN TO THE FINAL 45 MINUTES OF FP2

    Bottas has been told “there is a big train of 15 cars on track” as they all line up for shots at flying laps.

    It has been quiet until now, and then all 15 go at once. Crazy really.

  • HAMILTON GOES QUICKEST

    Lewis Hamilton is flexing his muscles in his Mercedes to go quickest on the medium tyre.

    Valtteri Bottas is in P2 0.287 seconds behind the Brit

    Max Verstappen is in P3 0.830 seconds off Hamilton's time.

    Ferrari in 15th and 16th place.

  • MORE IMPRESSIVE STUFF FROM GASLY

    The AlphaTauri man has been one of the standout performers this season and it is a curious case of what he does next.

    Just 12 months ago he was demoted from Red Bull back into the B-team yet rather than get in a muddle, he has set about restoring his reputation.

    He has delivered some solid performances, despite being in an under-strength car but Red Bull say they will not promote him in place of Alex Albon.

    It all means that he could be forced to move from the Red Bull stable should he want to explore his options in the future.

  • FOUR CARS OUT ON TRACK

    Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo, plus Haas's Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are on track.

  • FP2 IS GO

    Can anyone topple the trio of the Mercedes duo or Max Verstappen?

  • WILLIAMS CONTINUED

    “You put blood, sweat and tears into something like I have for the time that I have, made the sacrifices doing what I've done.

    “This is a hard, hard business. I've given it my all and I've done that because I've wanted to protect my family's legacy in this sport. I've done it because I'm my dad's daughter and I felt it was my duty to do it, so to speak.

    “Now that it's not ours I don't feel that I could put the same amount of energy into it. The past few years have been incredibly tough.

    “They have taken an awful lot out of me and, if I'm honest, I think that probably Dorilton need somebody that has more energy than I've currently got, somebody that is going to put in more than I can currently give it to take it forward.

    “They're going to put as much as they can into it and they're going to want somebody that can take that and really drive it forward. I don't think I am that person.”

  • WILL I NEVER

    Claire Williams has lifted the lid on why she is stepping away from the F1 team.

    Speaking to Sky Sports on her decision to leave Williams, she said: “It was absolutely my decision and I'd like to make that really clear. I've obviously known that this has been coming.

    “I've been working on the strategic review since March and obviously lockdown as well afforded me the opportunity to think about my life and what I wanted and about the outcome of this process and what the eventualities could be and could mean.

    “I took a long time to think about what it would feel like to have new owners, if we did fully sell Williams, and what that would feel like for me.

    “I love this team, I've always loved this team, and I want to see it do well.

    “But I think anyone, I hope, could understand that for me working for somebody else would be potentially enormously difficult. I've run this team as my team as seven years.”

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