Hamilton Continues to Overpower Verstappen as Sainz Crashes Out of FP2 at Monza

Published 09/11/2021, 7:01 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini


Lewis Hamilton continued to dominate the Italian Grand Prix weekend to claim yet another top finish in what is the second and final F1 practice session.

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Max Verstappen has very evidently made a huge leap in performance, but just not enough to fend off the Mercedes duo. Hence, Mercedes could well stay ahead, going into the sprint as well.

Meanwhile, heartbreak for Carlos Sainz, as the Spaniard suffered a crash for the second time in two race weekends. Charles Leclerc, who looked fine through most parts of the session, had a call from his race engineer to return to the pits.

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How the F1 session unfolded

Schumacher was the first driver to post a lap time, which ended up being 1:27:374, just 0.089s quicker than his teammate. Soon, Giovinazzi split the two Haas drivers after posting his lap time on medium tires. Perez arrived with a 1:24:870 to go fastest.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during practice REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Considering the fastest lap time in qualifying was 1:19:555, the lap times in FP2 were obvious that the drivers were prepping up for the sprint, running with a significant amount of fuel on board. Also, most of the drivers had their respective runs on either soft or medium tires.

Verstappen opted to choose soft and consequently secured the provisional fastest lap of the session; 1:23:754, almost 0.5s ahead of his teammate. Bottas, on the other hand, opted to run with hard tires; the Finn has a huge task of fighting through the field on Sunday.

Then popped out the red flags.

Sainz crashes out

Ferrari wouldn’t have wanted this, especially from Sainz. The Spaniard had a similar moment in North Holland. Hence, a crash is the last thing Sainz would have needed coming into Monza.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. after crashing during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Sainz was on his flying lap when he lost the rear going into the high-speed turn 9. He further came into contact with the halo, causing a significant impact on his head, but thankfully, he is safe. His car? Not so much.

Well, the damage has been done, and the only good news is that the car looked safe around the rear. The front though suffered a serious blow, including terminal front-left suspension damage.

The session resumes post-Sainz incident

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With 21 minutes left on the clock, the steward green-flagged the session, as the drivers rushed onto the track to continue with their runs. And as expected, the lap times began ramping up, with the Alfa Romeo duo provisionally holding onto P4 and P5.

Then arrived Hamilton’s fastest lap time of 1:23:246, which ended up just over 0.2s ahead of Bottas and 0.5s ahead of Verstappen.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during practice REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Overall, there end the practice runs and the focus is all on the soon-to-begin Sprint qualifying. With Bottas leading Hamilton and Verstappen, which of the trio is going to claim the pole position for Sunday’s main race? Well, we’ll know in time.

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Rohit Kumar

1176 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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