LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY - PRACTICE
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As it happened: Friday - Practice
By Matt Beer, Charles Bradley, Ben Anderson, Dan Cross and AUTOSPORT staff
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Good morning and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live's Italian Grand Prix coverage, with the beginning of Monza practice moments away.
The eyes of the world were focused on the drivers' press conference yesterday as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were grilled about the post-race fallout of their Belgian GP collision.
We didn't actually learn much, apart from seeing Rosberg's lips move as he admitted culpability, but both will be happy to get their helmets on and block out of the background noise as FP1 kicks off shortly.
The weather at Monza this morning is overcast.
Cars are heading onto the track for their installation laps.
Ericsson, Massa, Chilton, Magnussen, Vergne... Thirteen cars on track already.
Plenty of FP1 non-race drivers out there:
Charles Pic is in at Lotus instead of Romain Grosjean
. Daniel Juncadella is in for Sergio Perez at Force India. Roberto Merhi is at Caterham instead of Kamui Kobayashi, and Giedo van der Garde is at Sauber for Adrian Sutil.
Seven cars still on track right now, with Magnussen's McLaren the only driver to continue for a second lap.
...so too now Button, Maldonado, Pic and Rosberg.
All cars are now back in the pits.
We're going to see Sergio Perez taking over from Daniel Juncadella after the first 30mins of this session, after which teams are required to give a set of tyres back.
Chilton is the first driver to go for a proper run.
And he's joined on track by Formula Renault 3.5 star Merhi.
Marussia lets Chilton know that he's "clear behind" just in case a sudden flurry of traffic is expected.
Chilton is the first to flirt with edge of the newly-asphalted run-off at Parabolica. He's unlikely to be the last.
Kvyat also on track now.
Magnussen and Vergne join in too.
"15 minutes gone. Not much track activity. 15 minuti se ne sono andati. Poca l'attivita in pista" says
, proving that even an announcement that things are a bit boring looks more evocative in Italin.
First flying lap of the session is Chilton's 1m33.435s.
Merhi gets his first taste of F1 radio instructions and tyre angst: "All tyres are 20 degrees below the working range, and do not use DRS on the next lap."
The Spaniard had cited getting this weekend's harder compund tyres up to temperature as one of his worries for this session.
Second score on the door is Merhi's 1m36.491s.
Chilton got a little wide out of Ascari and had to catch a high-speed wiggle over the kerbs. No huge drama.
Plenty of cars on track now. Expect a flurry of times shortly.
Merhi kicks up some sparks over the kerbs on the way out of the Roggia.
Kvyat goes second fastest on 1m33.124s.
Magnussen is P4 on 1m37.274s.
Vergne goes fastest on 1m30.511s.
Five cars have now set times.
, you Twitter tease: "Both drivers talking about the Parabolica run-off area in the initial feedback. What did they say? Well that would be telling wouldn't it :)"
Hamilton and Rosberg will probably mention it when surrounded by the media this afteroon, of course.
Magnussen is on a proper flyer and goes to the top of the times on 1m28.256s.
Button goes third fastest on 1m31.244s.
More instructions for Merhi: "You are pressing the DRS button too early and you need to be less aggressive on the brake pedal".
Button goes second fastest. It's a McLaren 1-2.
Another confession from Rosberg: "I accidentally touched the clutch, I think." He's told not to worry, the clutch is fine.
Massa jumps to second for Williams, with Rosberg going third.
It's a Merc-powered top four, straight away.
"DRS isn't working," reports Ricciardo.
Ericsson has a big lock-up into the first chicane, ponders taking to the run-off but decides he can yank it round and stay on track instead.
Magnussen sets a new standard, lowering his fastest time to 1m27.228s.
Magnussen is 1.3s clear at the head of the field.
The Roggia seems to be a tricky spot this morning - Vergne, Hamilton and Hulkenberg have all popped up on the race control computer for skipping the apex.
DRS isn't working for either Red Bull driver it seems, Vettel has the same issue as Ricciardo.
Alonso goes second fastest for Ferrari on 1m28.397s. Cue the cheers of the Tifosi.
Button takes P2 back, a 1m27.859s.
Bottas is third fastest on 1m28.317s.
Rosberg takes P2 on 1m27.297s.
Bottas locks up into the Parabolica, runs a bit wide... but gets away from it as there's no gravel there now...
Juncadella locks up into the first chicane and he does take a trip down the run-off area.
This is an impressive first stint from Magnussen, he's consistently quick. Team-mate Button sets a new fastest first sector time.
Button goes fastest in sector two also.
Both Raikkonen and Hamilton skip across chicanes after braking too late.
Button sets a new fastest time, a 1m27.158s.
We are three minutes away from all cars heading into the pitlane to hand a set of tyres back.
Rosberg sets a new fastest time, a 1m27.064s.
Hamilton beats him on 1m27.064s.
Hamilton has a lovely slide through the middle of the Ascaris, whereas Maldonado misses the complex entirely after locking up.
The Mercs are separated at the top of the times by 0.007s. We were expecting that, Mr Bond...
A huge rush for the pitlane right now to give those tyres back.
Here's the order so far: Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, Magnussen, Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel, Gutierrez, Massa and Bottas.
Juncadella ends his day at Force India just four tenths off Hulkenberg, so he'll be pleased with that.
Hamilton is 0.007s quicker than Rosberg, with Button 0.094s off the pace and Magnussen 0.164s away from the fastest time.
The best of the rest is Alonso, who is half a second off the Mercs.
Plenty of ex-F1 racers at Monza this weekend, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Mario Andretti particularly prominent in the paddock yesterday.
We're pretty sure we just caught a glimpse of Giancarlo Fisichella in the Ferrari garage.
The Italian now races for the Italian firm's Risi team in the United SportsCar Championship, but five years ago this weekend he was making his debut in a Ferrari F1 car at his home race, stepping in fresh from second in the Belgian Grand Prix in a Force India to replace Felipe Massa's unsuccessful stand-in Luca Badoer.
Symmetry at the top, with the two Mercs ahead of the two McLarens and two Ferraris. Then it's Vettel's Red Bull, after its DRS issues early on, and Gutierrez's Sauber, with the two Williamses, Toro Rossos and Force Indias next up.
Both Marussia drivers have been giving thorough debriefs about their car's handling. Doesn't sound like any problems that couldn't be resolved with a tonne more money and substantially more downforce, so that's fine.
There will now be a lull in track action as teams crunch the data from the opening runs.
Looking at the times from the bottom up, Ericsson is eight tenths up on newboy Merhi at Caterham. Marussia's Bianchi has a huge 0.002s over Chilton. Pic is impressively faster than Maldonado at Lotus, a couple of tenths in his pocket too. But 17th and 18th is not where that team should be - what a wretched season it has been.
We've been treated to some fantastic aerial shots from the helicopter today. Wonder what's the better golf course to play a round on: the one at Monza or the one at Indianapolis? There's a course just behind Copse at Silverstone too.
As earlier, Chilton and Merhi are the first cars on track for the second runs.
Marussia tells Bianchi that it seems running longer on a set of tyres is the way forward today as they do eventually come up to temperature.
Raikkonen is also an early taker.
Race control says a DRS test is taking place "at panels 7 and 14". Red Bull was reporting a lack of DRS notifications earlier.
Yellow flags are out right now too.
It was in sector 7. They've been withdrawn now.
Now there's one in sector 14. Odd.
Merhi is reporting a problem with his Caterham. He stays on track for now.
Kvyat joins the party on track, so there are four cars running now. Track is clear again, so that was obviously some sort of systems test.
Vergne joins the track too, along with Bianchi.
"If you think the next lap is not good, do not use DRS," Toro Rosso tells Kvyat.
Raikkonen looked set to improve his time there, but a poor final sector means he doesn't.
Vettel and Maldonado also on track now. The top five remain in the pits.
BEN ANDERSON: "Pirelli has brought hard and medium compound tyres to Monza, which seems a conservative choice given the use of the soft tyre at Spa. Sergio Perez reckons it will take a "ridiculous" 20 laps to warm up the hard tyre properly here, and the Mexican thinks that will probably lead to a one-stop race on Sunday."
Raikkonen goes fifth quickest, improving his time to 1m27.618s.
Maldonado adds to his tally of chicanes skipped as he outbrakes himself into the Rettifilo.
Rosberg and Magnussen are now on track.
A quick snatch of onboard telemetry shows Vettel was pulling over 330km/h on the approach to Ascari there. That's over 205mph.
The headrest on Magnussen's McLaren has come loose.
That's a quite dramatic problem for Magnussen, who makes it back to the pits with the headrest still attached, flapping around his helmet.
Chilton has improved to 18th on 1m30.243s, splitting the Lotus duo.
Chilton goes even quicker, he's now fastest than both Lotuses on 1m30.017s.
Kvyat improves his time, leaping from 11th to seventh on 1m27.741s.
Maldonado completes the set by running off at the Roggia too. That's all three chicanes' exits explored now.
Merhi jumps ahead of Ericsson, up to 21st and two tenths quicker. Remember that 23 drivers will run this morning, as Juncadella and Perez (who is yet to run) will share their Force India.
Magnussen has the arms of several McLaren mechanics for company in the cockpit as they make absolutely sure the headrest is firmly fastened.
Rosberg has improved his sector one time.
Alonso improves and goes fifth on 1m27.539s.
Magnussen is now back on track following his headrest dramas.
Maldonado realises he hadn't done the full-length escape road at the Rettifilo yet. He makes up for it now with another big lock-up.
Vettel goes P5 on 1m27.271s.
Next move for Maldonado has to be to try the banking.
Button sets a new fastest overall time in the first sector. Keep an eye on that McLaren.
And a fastest middle sector too! Button going for it here, like a driver who needs a contract...
Button goes fastest on 1m26.810s. Very impressive.
Ricciardo is told he has a failure on his Red Bull, he says it's losing power and heads for the pits.
Alonso goes fourth fastest on 1m27.169s.
Ricciardo hops out of his Red Bull, so this could be a long job.
Massa has the fastest speed trap figure, at just a gnat's whisker under 215mph.
Button on another flyer. Are you watching Ron Dennis?
Mercedes tells Rosberg "there's a little bit of traffic building up".
Button lost time in his final sector, but was again setting new fastest times in the first and second sectors.
Hamilton goes second fastest on 1m26.967s.
Rosberg improves his third-fastest time to 1m26.995s.
"OK Jenson, you are still P1 and still purple in the first two sectors" - that's a radio message he hasn't heard for a while.
Bottas is 10th fastest, 0.002s faster than team-mate Massa.
Hamilton improves his first sector time, but is still slower through there than Button.
Hamilton improves his second sector time on this lap too.
Hamilton goes fastest on 1m26.547s. Very impressive through the Parabolica there.
Bottas exits the Ascaris wonderfully sideways - and then does the same at the Parabolica too. Gorgeous, but time-consuming.
Perez is now on track for the first time, with just 20 minutes of the session remaining.
Replays show Hamilton was judging how much to slide his Mercedes out of the Roggia very nicely on his timesheet-topping run.
Hamilton reports, though that he still has "a bit of understeer out here."
Bottas improved his first and second sectors there, but aborted the lap after an exploratory useage of the run-off at Parabolica.
Hamilton sets the fastest second sector, faster than Button.
Hamilton improves his fastest time to 1m26.187s, that's 0.360s quicker than before. He's moved the goalposts in this session.
Perez goes 15th on his first flying lap.
Raikkonen improves his time to 1m27.493s. He stays seventh.
Hulkenberg goes P9 on 1m28.112s.
But team-mate Perez usurps him, grabbing P9 on 1m27.941s.
Kvyat has completed the most laps in this session at 22. Perez, of course, has completed the fewest on five.
Hamilton has a bit of a lock-up into the Ascaris and takes to the large run-off around the outside of the corner.
Towards the back, Maldonado managed to complete a decent lap - in between exploring all the run-offs. He's now half a second clear of the Marussias in 18th.
Hamilton is eight tenths clear of Rosberg at present. Rosberg is on track right now.
Kvyat improves his time to 1m27.741s. He splits the Force Indias in ninth, and Perez has improved to eighth on 1m27.678s.
Button is back out on used tyres, and is cruising around well off the pace he was displaying earlier.
Some close-up zoom-in camera work over Hamilton's shoulder in the garage reveals that Mercedes really does have a setting on its steering wheel display called 'MAGIC 1'.
Merhi is back on track for his final run of the day. Did you know his dad speaks English with a thick Yorkshire accent? Well he does.
Merhi's still having issues with tyre warm-up - his engineer tells him they're all five degrees under now.
Kvyat kicked up a bit of gravel (yes, there is still some) on the exit of the Roggia as he ran a touch wide on his last lap.
We're not expecting any ground-shaking time improvements in these last 10 minutes as everyone is doing race-sim runs now. So the early signs are that McLaren will be the Merc-powered team that's best placed to take the fight to the works cars this weekend.
Alonso has given Ferrari some hope, but is almost a second down on Hamilton's raw pace. They will be hoping that Lewis was on very low fuel levels...
In Marussialand, Chilton and Bianchi are back within the same tenth of each other. They are well clear of Caterham so far in the battle at the back.
Bottas makes another visit to the new run-off area at the Parabolica, sticking to the green bit.
In the name of Mercedes equality, Rosberg repeats Hamilton's earlier trip over the Ascari run-off.
Massa brakes too late into the Rettifilo and keeps going via a mix of run-off, grass and speed bump.
Perez loses it under braking for the Ascaris, has a huge wobble and skips through the middle of the gravel trap at high speed.
Perez kept that going very well and was swiftly back on track.
Rosberg reports that he got a big vibration following his lock-up a moment ago. Mercedes tells him the front tyre's "on our limit" now.
In the 'Friday driver' standings, van der Garde is the 'winner' for Sauber, ahead of Force India's Juncadella, Lotus's Pic and Merhi in the Caterham.
Van der Garde was a late improver in the session, actually, setting a 1m28.429s. He'll be pleased to outpace the most recent grand prix winner in the field, Ricciardo!
Van der Garde reckons he could've done better but he "got traffic with Alonso and Button."
Van der Garde did also run off the road at the Rettifilo, though.
Chequered flag is out, with no further late improvements.
Kvyat did the most running in that session, 33 laps to Juncadella's 10, but he only drove in the first 30 minutes. Ricciardo only completed 12 laps in his troubled session.
Here's the final running order from morning practice:
1 Lewis Hamilton 1m26.187s
2 Jenson Button +0.623s
3 Nico Rosberg +0.808s
4 Fernando Alonso +0.982s
5 Kevin Magnussen +1.041s
6 Sebastian Vettel +1.084s
7 Kimi Raikkonen +1.306s
8 Sergio Perez +1.500s
9 Daniil Kvyat +1.554s
10 Nico Hulkenberg +1.925s
11 Esteban Gutierrez
12 Valtteri Bottas
13 Felipe Massa
14 Jean-Eric Vergne
15 Giedo van der Garde
16 Daniel Ricciardo
17 Daniel Juncadella
18 Pastor Maldonado
19 Max Chilton
20 Jules Bianchi
21 Charles Pic
22 Roberto Merhi
23 Marcus Ericsson
No surprises with Mercedes leading the way. Positive morning for McLaren as well, with Button second and Magnussen fifth.
At the other end of the field, F1 newcomer Merhi finished 0.2s ahead of Caterham team-mate Ericsson - a great effort by the Spaniard.
Our full report from the first practice session is now available for you to read:
Hamilton leads Button in FP1
We will be back for FP2 this afternoon at 1.00pm UK time. See you then.
Welcome back to our live coverage of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza's cathedral of speed.
Monza is bathed in sunshine, and the track temperature has responded accordingly, up 5C since FP1.
Air temperature is now 24C, track temp is 34C.
This should be an intriguing session as Lewis Hamilton dominated FP1, eight-tenths faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton was clearly running to a lower fuel load agenda, and Merc's Paddy Lowe revealed he was using the engine that caught fire in qualifying in Hungary.
Of course, Jenson Button split the Mercs in FP1. He was 0.6s off Hamilton's pace, giving McLaren a big boost heading into this weekend.
We are green! But it is not go, go, go.
Everyone is still in the pits.
Big session for Ricciardo after problems in FP1.
Grosjean breaks the silence and joins the track.
Bianchi joins the fun too, along with Ericsson and Chilton.
Ricciardo is also out on track, along with Kvyat, Hulkenberg and - yes, he's back - Kamui Kobayashi.
There are random yellows in certain sectors again, which appears to be related to a DRS systems test.
tweets that its drivers are "Just waiting for the sun to come out".
It's definitely out.
Grosjean sets the ball rolling, with a 1m32.995s. His car was driven by Charles Pic this morning.
Chilton goes second, ahead of Bianchi and Ericsson.
Chilton asks for ideas to get "more engine braking", saying his car is "pushing on quite a lot."
Kvyat goes top on 1m28.552s.
Ricciardo is a smidge slower than Kvyat's fastest time on 1m28.578s.
Grosjean is clocked on the race control system skipping the Roggia chicane.
Hulkenberg goes P3 on 1m28.619s.
Thirteen cars out on track now.
Perez takes the top spot on 1m28.270s.
Perez is even quicker on his next attempt.
But Magnussen is now the man to watch.
More Roggia chicane adventures for Grosjean. Team-mate Maldonado quite literally went down every escape road Monza has this morning.
Magnussen goes fastest on 1m27.634s. He was taking liberties with the run-off at Parabolica.
Hulkenberg goes second on 1m27.996s.
Replays show Maldonado getting his Lotus nicely sideways through Parabolica.
Quick lock-up for Rosberg into the Rettifilo, he catches it neatly without losing much momentum.
While Rosberg is on the circuit, TV cameras catch a lot of work going on on Hamilton's car in the Mercedes garage still.
Rosberg's opening gambit is 1m27.500s, which takes P1.
Magnussen is faster than him in the middle sector, however.
Magnussen does not improve his overall laptime, however.
Perez sets the fastest first sector time.
Perez goes P2 on 1m27.585s. That's 0.085s slower than Rosberg.
Rosberg is reporting another vibration from a recently locked-up tyre.
Meanwhile the Mercedes crew are getting to work on dismantling Hamilton's car to look into the problem that's kept him garage-bound so far.
Sector-times news: Raikkonen goes fastest in sector one; Magnussen in sector two; Rosberg in sector three.
Rosberg lowers the benchmark to 1m27.005s.
Magnussen goes P2, Alonso P3, Raikkonen P4.
Rosberg is on top by 0.009s.
Rosberg sets a new fastest first sector time.
While work goes on at Mercedes, Hamilton leans around in the garage, watching the track action on the monitors.
But that fastest first sector time is now bettered by Magnussen. And now by Button!
Mercedes confirms that the problem is simply that Hamilton's car won't start.
Bottas goes P5.
Magnussen is told by McLaren that his pace looks good compared to Button in the first two sectors, but "sector three is our weakest."
Button gets into the 1m26s bracket with a new fastest time: 1m26.975s.
And the Tifosi goes wild! Alonso topples Jenson with a 1m26.790s.
You can always rely on Ferrari to do at least one low-fuel run on Italian Grand Prix Friday. Just wait until they put the soft tyres on later...
Rosberg retakes the top spot on 1m26.786s.
Vettel goes P5, Bottas is P6 with a fastest first sector.
Vettel gets a reminder that he should've pressed the 'overtake' button on his last lap. "Yeah, you're right, I forgot," he admits.
Back on Caterham duty after Merhi's debut, Kobayashi visits the Roggia chicane run-off.
Rosberg has been very industrious in Hamilton's enforced absence, and has completed 10 laps already.
Button tells McLaren he tells "more front end".
Here's the current top 10:
1 Rosberg 1m26.786s
2 Alonso +0.004s
3 Button +0.189s
4 Magnussen +0.228s
5 Vettel +0.364s
6 Bottas +0.373s
7 Massa +0.595s
8 Raikkonen +0.606s
9 Perez +0.799s
10 Hulkenberg +0.962s
Hulkenberg asks Force India to have a look at "some hesitation" on his throtlle.
Magnussen and Hulkenberg are the only drivers in the top 10 who are on track right now. Ricciardo is down in 12th, but at least he's back out there now.
Hamilton remains bolted to the bottom of the times, as his car continues to be worked on.
Kobayashi overtakes Ericsson for P20 on 1m30.211s.
Ricciardo goes 11th. He's won the last two grands prix, but is finding it hard to crack the top 10 here. Vettel is fifth, remember.
Magnussen has a few worries about engine performance, he asks McLaren to look into it.
There's been a cracking scrap going on today between Marussia and Lotus. Maldonado is winning it so far for Lotus - in between escape road visits, he's got two and a half tenths in hand over Bianchi. Grosjean is just behind, with Chilton well off them at the moment.
Ricciardo cracks the top 10, demoting Hulkenberg with a 1m27.732s.
Perez is the first driver to start a flying lap on the medium tyres.
McLaren tells Magnussen it looks like he "ran out" of battery engine towards the end of his lap, so needs to do some recharging.
Williams announces that its drivers are softer to the weekend's faster tyre compound now too.
Magnussen sets a new fastest middle sector time.
Magnussen, Rosberg and Sutil have joined Perez on mediums.
The timing screens are lighting up as you'd expect...
Rosberg sets the new benchmark, a 1m26.225s.
Bottas goes P2 on 1m26.758s, with a fastest middle sector.
Sutil gets sideways under braking into the Roggia chicane and ends up taking a rough ride over the speed bumps.
Sutil improves to 12th despite that big moment at the Roggia chicane.
Vettel improves to fourth, just behind Alonso.
Another lock-up for Rosberg as he starts his medium run. He's back down the Rettifilo escape road.
Perez improves his time and is seventh. Massa goes sixth, but then Button goes third, shunting them all down.
Magnussen runs spectacularly wide out of the Ascaris and bounces over the exit kerbs.
Rosberg has set a new fastest first sector time.
Alonso improves to P2 with 1m26.565s.
Grosjean runs wide through the first Lesmo and visits the gravel.
Rosberg aborts a faster lap.
Sounds like Perez just scuppered Kvyat's plans, the Russian complains over the radio that the Force India overtook him and he's asked to back off and find a new gap.
Perez improves to eighth on 1m27.079s.
Kvyat is now P10.
And more trouble for Grosjean as he locks up and goes over the Rettifilo chicane. Driving a Lotus looks like a horrible experience today.
"We've lost a lot of rear grip," says Button, who is asked if he "wants one more go?" and agrees that he does.
Vettel goes P5 on 1m26.762s.
Hamilton's car looks slightly more complete than it did earlier, as if the repair is heading into the 'putting it back together' phase.
Raikkonen sets a fastest first sector time, but backs off in sector two.
Hulkenberg goes P10, Ricciardo goes P8.
Raikkonen goes P2 on 1m26.331s, just a tenth off Rosberg.
Alonso, while getting a tow off Bianchi, triggers the speed trap at 212.981mph.
Bianchi is an impressive P16 at the moment. Meanwhile, Grosjean has slumped to 21st, which is last when you discount Hamilton who hasn't turned a wheel in this session.
Interesting that Magnussen, who was also getting a slipstream benefit there, was speed trapped at 212.5mph, a bit slower than Alonso.
Not all the Ferrari-affiliated drivers are swanning around the Monza paddock,
Pedro de la Rosa
is in the simulator, or "home sweet home" as he calls it.
Hamilton is climbing back into his Mercedes at last, ready to join the session.
Raikkonen flirts with the gravel on the exit of the Roggia as he carries a lot of speed through the middle of the chicane.
Rosberg is back out on the medium tyres and winding up for a quick one.
Big messy lock-up from Ericsson into the Roggia, but he catches the Caterham without going off.
Rosberg wasn't even at 200mph through the speed trap, and he's actually quite slow.
So we can deduce that this is a race sim on the option tyre, so let's see how far it can go.
The qualifying simulation pecking order from today is this: Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Red Bull, Force India, Toro Rosso/Sauber, Marussia/Lotus and Caterham.
Hamilton begins his first serious run of the session.
Hamilton has lost an hour of this session. He's on the hard tyre, however, so we can't take too much notice of these times overall.
Hamilton is now going slowly through the Curva Grande - a problem or looking for space?
For the record, his first flying lap is 1m27.352s. That puts him 12th, and will mean he'll be confident of running the hard tyre in Q1 tomorrow.
More angst for Grosjean, who drifts wide through the second Lesmo now and visits the gravel. A Lotus has now been off at every corner today.
Grosjean has completed 19 laps in this session. He is last. He'd struggle to win the Monza Rally in this car, never mind the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton had just backed off a lot through his first lap, he's moving fine now but reports "a lot of understeer".
Grosjean leaps up to 20th, battering the Caterhams but still 0.3s adrift of Chilton's Marussia.
Hamilton is still unhappy with understeer and says "it's not front wing, it's mechanical".
Hamilton begins his first flying lap on the medium tyres.
Rosberg has completed 10 laps on this race run on the medium tyres he did the qualifying simulation with.
Hamilton is on a much better lap now than the one he ruined with a lock-up at Rettifilo.
Hamilton goes P2 on 1m26.286s, 0.061s down on Rosberg. He had a bit of traffic to deal with, however.
"Driving style advice!" demands Rosberg. Fifth gear through the Lesmos and "we'll advise on anything else" comes the reply.
Hamilton did manage the fastest sector two time. It's going to be 'game on' between himself and Rosberg tomorrow in qualifying.
All cars are now on track, apart from the beleaguered Grosjean.
Hamilton has improved his first sector time, still not as quick as Rosberg's however.
That was a clear response to the radio message that told him he had lost time under braking for Turn 1, no doubt a legacy from that lock-up he had on his opening effort.
Mercedes asks Rosberg how many more laps he reckons his current tyre has in it. "Three," is his estimate.
The medium tyre might only be giving a 0.6s single-lap advantage over the hard, but they are clearly quite durable.
"The traffic was crazy out there," complains Hamilton.
Hulkenberg also unhappy: "I'm just sliding around. I don't have the grip to do it."
Nobody 'owned' the sector times today, with Raikkonen fastest in the first, Hamilton in the second and Rosberg in the third.
Alonso gets a big tow from a Marussia down the pits straight, but arrives at the Rettifilo a bit too quick as a result and slides down the escape road.
Button tucks in behind a Toro Rosso down the pits straight, jinks out to pass it into the Rettifilo and ends up nipping between it and a Sauber emerging from the pits, locking down and skating down the escape road and over the grass.
Nice dramatic moment for the final minutes of practice.
Button mentions he's surprised "how little grip" he has under braking, so that was a bit of an example of it.
Rosberg has rejoined on the hards, after an impressive 19-lap run on the mediums. That's clearly a very durable tyre. So expect a one-stop race on Sunday.
More problems with Ricciardo's Red Bull, though the team tells him they "should clear" within the next lap.
Vettel runs a bit wide through the Parabolica - wide enough to make people who hate the asphalt run-off frown.
And that's the end of the session, the chequered flag is out.
Here's how the top 10 stacked up in that second session:
1 Rosberg 1m26.225s
2 Hamilton +0.061s
3 Raikkonen +0.106s
4 Alonso +0.340s
5 Bottas +0.533s
6 Button +0.537s
7 Vettel +0.537s
8 Magnussen +0.656s
9 Massa +0.710s
10 Ricciardo +0.767s
The flat-spot Button put on his left-front tyre in that incident into the Rettifilo is very obvious as the McLaren sits in the garage.
A typically healthy session for Mercedes, once Hamilton's issues were solved, but an encouraging one for Ferrari on home turf.
Hamilton takes a last-gasp trip down the Rettifilo escape road on his last lap too.
So Mercedes on top, but Ferrari and McLaren have had some promising moments today.
How does that affect your predictions for the Italian GP result?
There's a Sony PS4 up for grabs in the
Castrol Grand Prix Predictor
this weekend, and you can make your picks until five minutes before qualifying tomorrow.
Here's how far the rest of the field were behind Rosberg:
11 Perez +0.854s
12 Hulkenberg +1.002s
13 Kvyat +1.251s
14 Gutierrez +1.615s
15 Vergne +1.704s
16 Sutil +1.804s
17 Bianchi +2.434s
18 Maldonado +2.475s
19 Chilton +2.561s
20 Grosjean +2.860s
21 Kobayashi +2.953s
22 Ericsson +3.050s
Not the best of sessions for Lotus, whose E22 looked nigh on impossible to drive.
EDD STRAW and GARY ANDERSON are about to begin their number-crunching to produce AUTOSPORT's regular
Friday practice analysis
, which will be live on the site later today.
CRAIG SCARBOROUGH is also hard at work unravelling the teams' latest upgrades and their modifications for low-drag Monza ready for his
And our newshounds are scampering round the paddock as we type, with BEN ANDERSON elbowing his way into the Mercedes scrum to hear from the title contenders, while JONATHAN NOBLE seeks Red Bull wisdom.
In the meantime, here's our full report from practice two, plus the complete results rundown:
Rosberg fastest in practice two at Monza
And if you missed the morning and need to catch up on that too, here's where you can:
Hamilton leads Button in Monza practice one
Controversial ex-Benetton/Renault team boss
has been cruising around the Monza paddock today.
But as JONATHAN NOBLE found out, the chances of Briatore taking an active role in F1 again seem to have diminished, contrary to indications earlier in the summer that he was about to be parachuted in:
Briatore: Not for me to save 'mad' F1
We'll have more from Briatore on AUTOSPORT later this weekend, including his thoughts on
And speaking of the future intentions of key Ferrari figure, tomorrow our reporters will be tracking down Ferrari president
Luca di Montezemolo
as he makes his annual visit to Monza amid new rumours about his plans.
didn't look like a man lining up a hat-trick of grand prix wins today, but he hasn't won a boring or straightforward one yet.
He lost some time with an engine issue in the morning, when he was 16th, and then improved to 10th in the afternoon.
"We were set aside with an engine issue, the guys made some changes and they didn’t have to change [the engine itself]," Ricciardo explained.
"We are still good and kept it going. It is better to happen on Friday than in the rest of the weekend. It took a little bit of time to get going, we got it in the end and we will be OK for tomorrow."
On the other side of the Red Bull garage,
again for this weekend. He was seventh and sixth in the two sessions.
"I think globally it is not a different car, but I felt a bit more in charge today," was his verdict.
Mercedes has confirmed that it was an
that limited Hamilton to just 16 late-session laps this afternoon.
He was pretty relaxed about the knock-on effects for his weekend:
"It’s always difficult but I’m quite relaxed about it because it’s not the first time I’ve been in this situation, so I feel I’m able to deal with it.
"The guys did a good job to get the car out and working."
Gloomy times down at
. The winner here six years ago, the sometime Minardi squad was battling with Sauber in the obscure part of the midfield today, and both Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne said they were unhappy with the car.
Chief race engineer Phil Charles said: "We are not where we would want to be.
"The main complaint from both our drivers appears to be a lack of grip, although Daniil still managed a long run that wasn’t too bad."
But even pacesetter
wasn't entirely upbeat about handling today, and he's driving a Mercedes.
"It’s balance mainly that I need to work on this evening – it’s a bit all over the place," said Rosberg, who thinks that on long runs, Mercedes' margin over the opposition is smaller here than of late.
Plenty more on that topic from EDD STRAW and GARY ANDERSON later in their comprehensive practice analysis.
There's a McLaren man on pole at Monza, with Stoffel Vandoorne topping a second straight
Monza GP2 qualifying report
Julian Leal is ninth... which we wouldn't usually be commenting on, but the Colombian has some very famous backing this weekend, with countryman Juan Pablo Montoya hanging out with him.
Monza was famously the scene of both Montoya's maiden F1 win 13 years ago, and also his 2004 lap that stands as F1's fastest ever, at an average of 162.959mph.
Speed is the theme of this week's
, and as we wrap up our live Monza coverage for today, that seems a good time to point you in the direction of the digital version - which features a comprehensive analysis of F1 cars' changing pace through the years, and the controversy over the speed of the 2014 variants.
All that plus everything you need to know about the Italian GP weekend and the 2015 driver market.
We'll leave you with reading material, and see you back here for more AUTOSPORT Live Italian Grand Prix coverage ahead of practice three at 10am UK time on Saturday morning. See you then.
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