Carlos Sainz on track during FP2 at the Italian Grand Prix. (Ferrari Photo)

Sainz & Norris Lead Second Practice At Monza

Carlos Sainz topped the speed charts during Friday’s second practice session at Monza Circuit, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.

The Ferrari driver had a fastest lap of 1:21.355 on the manufacturer’s home track. 

Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez slotted in third, despite crashing late in the session ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix. 

Norris’ teammate and rookie driver Oscar Piastri ran fourth. 

Championship leader Max Verstappen endured heavy traffic during his time on track, negating him to fourth on the board after holding down the top spot in the first practice session earlier in the day. 

“From my side it could have probably been a little bit better today, there is still some fine tuning to do from the low speed to the high speed, but I am, of course, quite confident we will get there,” Verstappen said. “We have been trying a few different wing levels and I think we still need to analyze which way to go, it is sometimes a tricky thing around Monza.

“We were a little bit interrupted with our program in FP2 so it was hard to get a read on a few things. On the short run I was blocked a bit in sector two and then on the long run we didn’t get to do a lot of laps, so you don’t really get a good idea but that’s the same for everyone. We need to see what happens when everyone turns up their engines for qualifying, from our side we can do a better job but also today hasn’t been the end of the world.”

The second Ferrari entry of Charles Leclerc finished the second session in sixth. 

It was a struggle for the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, with Russell’s fastest lap good enough for ninth quickest. Hamilton ended FP2 in 17th after setup issues plagued the seven-time Formula 1 champion. 

Haas F-1’s Nico Hulkenberg had the 10th best lap time, with teammate Kevin Magnussen following suit in 11th.