Hamilton sure he can go quicker still after Monza practice

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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.

Coyne signs Ferrucci for final two IndyCar races of 2018

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Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry at the Grand Prix of Portland and the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma for former Haas F1 test and reserve driver Santino Ferrucci, the team revealed earlier on Friday.

Ferrucci previously raced with Coyne at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, where he finished 22nd and 20th, and will drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi. The entry, the No. 39 Honda, will also feature sponsorship from Cly-Del, a Connecticut-based manufacturing company.

“I am extremely grateful to Dale (Coyne) and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing for giving me this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar in Portland and Sonoma,” said Ferrucci, who had been racing in FIA Formula 2 this year until it came to an unceremonious end in July.

Ferrucci continued, “I’m also excited to be bringing my long-time sponsor Cly-Del on board and introducing them to the world of IndyCar racing. I truly enjoyed my time with Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit earlier this season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back with them for a couple more races as I look to the future and enter the next chapter of my career.”

Team owner Dale Coyne highlighted the team’s experience with Ferrucci as a motivating factor in signing him up again for the final two races.

“We were very impressed with Santino at Detroit this year, and not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car,” said Coyne.

Coyne added, “We’ve had lengthy discussions with Santino in the past few months and we’re excited to have him back for the final two rounds of the season. We look forward to seeing what he will do with this opportunity as he gets back behind the wheel of an Indy Car. We’re also happy to welcome Cly-Del to our ever-growing family of sponsors.”

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