Valtteri Bottas posted the quickest lap time during Friday afternoon’s second free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix. Mercedes again locked out the top two positions, but Ferrari closed in.
Bottas turned the tables in FP2, producing a 1:21.406 on the Super Soft tyre compound.
Hamilton topped the early Soft-shod runs. But ultimately finished half a tenth down on Bottas. He made a mistake at the exit of Variante della Roggia on one of his runs.
Mercedes held a massive advantage in the first session, leading Ferrari by more than a second, but the Scuderia slashed the gap in the afternoon.
F1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel was just a tenth slower than Hamilton in third, as Kimi Räikkönen took fourth, surviving a trip through the gravel at Lesmo 2.
Red Bull remained the third-fastest team, but its deficit to the front increased, with Max Verstappen a second adrift, and Daniel Ricciardo 1.3 seconds back.
Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso, who continued to practice towing, finished an encouraging seventh and eighth respectively for McLaren-Honda.
Alonso is one of four drivers with engine penalties for the weekend along with Verstappen, Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr.
After a strong first session, Esteban Ocon kept Force India inside the top 10 positions. Which were again completed by Williams driver Felipe Massa.
Sainz Jr. was the lead Toro Rosso in 11th, despite an apparent engine failure, while Renault improved from a low-key start to take 12th and 13th with Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer.
Sergio Pérez was 14th in the other Force India, four-tenths down on Ocon, with Williams rookie Lance Stroll also a chunk away from Massa, after a spin at Ascari.
Haas ended up 16th and 17th, Romain Grosjean ahead of Kevin Magnussen. His car suffered a suspension failure when he ran over the kerbs at Lesmo 2.
Daniil Kvyat wound up 18th, having posted his best time on the Soft tyre, with the Saubers at the back once more, significantly adrift of the midfield.
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