There may have been just five hundredths of a second between Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button’s lap times in second practice – but Hamilton’s car was almost 12kph faster in a straight line.
Encouragingly, the top three teams are very evenly matched – their best ultimate laps covered by just 0.076 seconds. Here’s the data from second practice.
Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom
McLaren conducted side-by-side tests of their steep and low rear wings in the second session and found they produced similar lap times – Lewis Hamilton just a few hundredths quicker than Jenson Button.
But the difference was clear to see in the speed trap. Hamilton was fourth-quickest, clocking 341.2kph, Button 21st, at 329.3kph.
The track was much hotter come the second session, surface temperature up from 21C into the high 30s. Teams began the session on the hard tyres before switching to the softs – and at that point McLaren’s 0.7s per lap advantage was overturned by Red Bull and Ferrari.
This was over half an hour after the McLaren drivers set their best laps, so it’s safe to assume the track was in a better condition by that time.
The McLaren drivers did go out on soft tyres but couldn’t find much of an improvement – whether that’s because the time wasn’t there or they had more fuel in remains to be seen.
Button said the pair may choose to go different ways on set-up for the race:
We have a lot of data to go through, so it will be a busy night tonight. But we’re pretty competitive with both packages, which is positive because it means the car is working efficiently. Our car is mechanically strong, so we just need to confirm what downforce level to run.
The team are very open to the decisions the drivers take, and Lewis and I will be able to choose the package that we feel is right for us – but it won’t just be a driver decision, it will be made with our engineers and the team management.
Ferrari may also have been trying difference aero parts on their two cars as Fernando Alonso’s best straight-line speed was 8.2kph faster than Felipe Massa’s.
Vettel set the fastest lap time but as he was only 17th fastest through the speed traps he may have to take a little more wing off to avoid being overtaken in the race. He admitted he’s wary of the competition:
McLaren is extremely quick and their cars went off a couple of times, so I don’t know if they had a clean afternoon. Ferrari was quick in the afternoon too, it will be tight.
It’s fair to say that more was expected from Renault and Force India – instead the midfield team that’s looking conspicuously strong at the moment is Williams.
The new teams are their customary second off the midfield. Virgin had some demon low-downforce kit on their car helping their drivers to the two fastest straight-line speeds in the second session.
Timo Glock was quickest of all, hitting, 345.9kph in the speed trap. But he thinks the set-up was a mistake:
We made an aero change, which was really low downforce and not the right way to go, so unfortunately we lost some time.
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Best lap||Gap||Lap||At time||Laps|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’22.839||20||70||27|
|6||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’23.415||0.576||21||71||22|
|11||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’24.181||1.342||23||63||35|
|12||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’24.380||1.541||21||62||36|
|15||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’24.517||1.678||14||34||35|
|16||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’24.547||1.708||25||76||32|
|18||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’25.106||2.267||19||53||23|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’26.631||3.792||26||83||31|
|24||21||Bruno Senna||No time|
Ultimate laps times
A driver’s ultimate lap is his three fastest sectors added together.
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Ultimate lap||Gap||Deficit to best|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’22.839||0.000|
|6||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’23.315||0.476||0.100|
|11||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’24.101||1.262||0.080|
|12||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’24.235||1.396||0.282|
|13||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’24.258||1.419||0.122|
|16||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’24.547||1.708||0.000|
|18||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’24.964||2.125||0.142|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’26.468||3.629||0.163|
2010 Italian Grand Prix
- Technical review: Italian Grand Prix
- Jamey Price watches the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
- Hamilton: “I could have done some passing”
- Sutil: “I was in the wrong place everywhere”
- Hülkenberg’s drive “his best to date”
- 2010 Italian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Italian Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)
- Late scare with de la Rosa can’t keep Alonso from victory (Ferrari race review)
- Set-up gamble pays off for Button as Hamilton crashes (McLaren race review)
- Vettel recovers to surprise fourth after mid-race drama (Red Bull race review)
Image © Red Bull/Getty images