Ferrari's Carlos Sainz went quickest in the second practice session for this weekend’s 2023 FIA Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix beating McLaren’s Lando Norris by just under two hundredths of a second as third-place Sergio Pérez crashed his Red Bull late in the session.
The second hour of practice was halted almost as soon as it began, with the red flags being shown when Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was forced to stop just after the Ascari chicane with a fuel system problem.
After a short delay to recover the Canadian’s car, running resumed and F1 championship leader Verstappen set the early pace with a lap of 1:22.259s set on Medium tyres. That time stood for almost 10 minutes but then Sainz moved ahead with a lap of 1:21.565.
The frontrunners then began to switch to Soft compound Pirelli tyres and though it looked like Sainz was on course to lower the bar further the Spaniard suffered a lock up at the second chicane and backed out of his flying lap. That left the door open for Pérez and the Mexican took P1 with his first soft-shod flyer of 1:21.540. Pérez then provided Verstappen with a tow but the Dutchman couldn’t match Sainz’s earlier Medium-tyre time.
Norris then jumped to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:21.374s, before Sainz completed a second run on the softs to reclaim top spot with a lap of 1:21.355 that stood to the end of the session.
Verstappen, who had encountered traffic on his initial qualifying simulation, then asked his team for another attempt but with the Alternative Tyre Allocation in place this weekend he was denied and so ended the session in fifth place, behind the McLaren of Oscar Piastri. Leclerc took sixth place ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon whose best time came during the latter part of his long run on Medium tyres.
Fernando Alonso was eighth for Aston Martin, 0.716 off Sainz, with Mercedes’ George Russell in P9 ahead of Haas’ Nico Hülkenberg.
Although Russell used Soft tyres, Lewis Hamilton, who along with Russell was this week confirmed at Mercedes for the next two years, finished the session in P17 as he only ran Hard tyres during a session defined by careful tyre use.
With eight minutes remaining Pérez lost the rear of his RB19 at the Parabolica and the Mexican spun backwards through the gravel trap. He was lucky to miss most of the barriers though he did come to rest by tapping the rear wing at the far side of the run-off. The red flags were briefly shown again and though running did resume there was no change to the order before the end of the session.
2023 FIA Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix - Free Practice 2
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:21.355 23 256.343
2 Lando Norris McLaren 1:21.374 0.019 20 256.283
3 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 1:21.540 0.185 17 255.761
4 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:21.545 0.190 21 255.745
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:21.631 0.276 20 255.476
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:21.716 0.361 23 255.210
7 Alexander Albon Williams 1:21.979 0.624 19 254.391
8 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:22.071 0.716 16 254.106
9 George Russell Mercedes 1:22.176 0.821 20 253.782
10 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:22.291 0.936 19 253.427
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:22.574 1.219 21 252.558
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:22.595 1.240 19 252.494
13 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:22.651 1.296 22 252.323
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:22.696 1.341 23 252.186
15 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:22.716 1.361 22 252.125
16 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:22.755 1.400 24 252.006
17 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.783 1.428 23 251.921
18 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 1:23.167 1.812 23 250.758
19 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:23.346 1.991 20 250.219
20 Lance Stroll Aston Martin - 2