NASCAR & Auto Racing

McLaren’s Alonso, Hamilton quickest in 2nd practice at Monza

MONZA, Italy – Fernando Alonso and McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton were fastest in Friday’s second practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

Two-time defending champion Alonso went around the 3.6-mile circuit in 1 minute, 22.386 seconds, almost a second faster than Hamilton with 1:23.209.

The Spaniard’s time was also the best of the day.

“Today went really well,” Alonso said. “We had a good idea of our performance from the test last week and, although the conditions have changed slightly since then, we were able to get an understanding of the setup for the race. I am happy with how the car felt.”

Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella was third with 1:23.584, followed by BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica with 1:23.599. Nico Rosberg was fifth for Williams, 1.293 seconds behind Alonso.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, who led the morning session, could only manage sixth and eighth, respectively.

Massa timed 1:23.722 while Raikkonen – fastest in the first session – had a disappointing 1:23.833. However, the Finn, who finished second to Michael Schumacher in last year’s race, only drove 12 laps after going out in the final 10 minutes of the session.

Hamilton leads the world championship with 84 points to Alonso’s 79 and is seeking a fourth win of the season.

“The car feels really good to drive around here and we have already made some good steps forward today,” Hamilton said.

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