Nico Rosberg has responded to Lewis Hamilton’s impressive time during the first practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix by finishing fastest in FP2 on Friday afternoon at Monza.
The German driver posted a fastest lap of 1:26.225 to finish just 0.061s ahead of his Mercedes teammate and championship rival, but Hamilton did well to get that close considering he was forced to miss most of the session after an electrical problem.
[ WATCH: Full replay of FP2 ]
The team was unable to fire Hamilton’s car up when the session went green, and only managed to resolve the issue with 30 minutes remaining. When he did venture out, Hamilton quickly got close to Rosberg’s time, only to be blocked by traffic on both of his hot laps.
This issue did rob the team of some precious laps though, with the Briton completing just a third of what his teammate could manage in the 90-minute session.
Just behind the Silver Arrows, Ferrari impressed once again to finish third and fourth on Friday afternoon. Kimi Raikkonen finished one-tenth of a second behind Rosberg at the top, and was two-tenths clear of Fernando Alonso in fourth place.
Williams began to show its true colors in FP2 after a quiet first session as Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished fifth and ninth respectively. Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen also impressed for McLaren to come home sixth and eighth, with Sebastian Vettel splitting the pair. His Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, rounded out the top ten.
Once again, Mercedes is forging ahead at the front of the field, but a very close battle is developing just behind Hamilton and Rosberg.
Join us tomorrow for FP3 on Live Extra at 5am ET, followed by qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on NBCSN at 8am ET.