Lewis Hamilton sent out an ominous statement of intent to his rivals by saying that he could go faster still after topping both practice sessions at Monza on Friday.
Running with an upgraded power unit for this weekend, Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg stormed to a one-two finish in FP1 and FP2.
Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished as the best of the rest in both sessions, but the gaps of 1.588 seconds and 0.759 seconds to Hamilton in FP1 and FP2 respectively make Mercedes’ advantage clear to see.
However, Hamilton still feels that there is more to come from Mercedes at Monza across the remainder of the weekend, saying after practice how he felt that there was extra pace in the car.
“Today was a good day definitely a testing day in terms of our programme,” Hamilton said. “I had a bit of a break in the second session but it was just so the team could check a few spikes in the data and everything was okay in the end.
“I didn’t particularly hook up the first two sectors this afternoon, they were definitely better in the morning. So I’m sure there’s some pace to find and I’ll be looking through the data tonight to find it.
“There’s nothing major, just very small tweaks here and there which might give that bit extra. The car is feeling good and the team are doing a great job but its still very intense out there.”
Regardless of his advantage, Hamilton said that he is still wary of the threat from behind that could come from Ferrari across the remainder of the weekend and the rest of the season.
“We’re working as hard as we can to keep improving and the challenge is always there no matter how fast you are,” Hamilton said.
“Now we need to keep it together through the weekend. It should be close with Nico as always so I’m looking forward to a battle.”
Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday.