A crushing blow - Hamilton and Bottas put daylight between them and the F1 grid after FP2

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Lewis Hamilton (Luca Bruno / Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton (Luca Bruno / Getty Images)
Luca Bruno

• Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest time in Second Practice.

Hamilton was almost a second faster than third-placed Lando Norris.

• Ferrari had another torrid session.

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Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes-AMG team mate at the top of the timetable after the second practice session for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who is on course for a record-tying seventh Formula 1 championship, set a time of 1:20.192, just under 0.3sec ahead of Bottas.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly was the third-fastest driver, 0.929sec off Hamilton's pace. Max Verstappen could only manage to get his Red Bull up to fifth place at the end of the session.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel put up an improved showing after the first session earlier today, but it still wasn't enough to make an impact on the front runners. Leclerc, the best-placed Ferrari in ninth place, was 1.3sec off the pace.

It's still all Merc

The performance gap to Mercedes and the rest of the field is still huge, both in terms of one-lap and long-run pace. This is an ominous sign to rival teams, given that the Silver Arrows are not running at full speed. Even with the ban on the 'party mode', Mercedes is still head and shoulders above the rest.

The surprise of the race-weekend might come in the form of McLaren and AlphaTauri. These two teams showed great pace during the session and could see both drivers qualify and finish the race in the top ten. Lando Norris (McLaren) managed to end the session in third place, less than 0.900sec behind Hamilton.

The Williams team finds both its drivers at the bottom of the table. George Russell and Nicholas Latifi were both more than two seconds off Hamilton's pace, and their short- and long-run paces were not very encouraging, either. 

Come qualifying and the race, it is safe to assume that the two Mercedes drivers will take the two top slots, but the battle for positions three to ten will be where the action is.

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