Italian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton leads tributes to Queen Elizabeth II at Monza

·21 min read
Italian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz fastest in second practice but will take hefty grid drop - GETTY IMAGES
Italian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz fastest in second practice but will take hefty grid drop - GETTY IMAGES

Lewis Hamilton led Formula One’s tributes to Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, describing her as an “an inspiration” and a “symbol of hope for so many”, as practice got under way ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Ferrari topped both sessions in Monza to suggest they will have an excellent chance of restoring a bit of pride and winning their home grand prix.

But the day was overshadowed by the death on Thursday of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. A minute’s silence was held before the start of first practice, with Formula One’s chief executive Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem joining the teams in the pitlane. Hamilton had by then posted a tribute on Instagram in which he recalled the time he spent with her.

“It is something I’ll never forget. We talked about our shared love of dogs and she was incredibly generous with her time,” Hamilton wrote. “She was a symbol of hope for so many and she served her country with dignity, dedication and kindness. She was truly like no other and I’m grateful to have lived during her time. Her legacy will be long-lasting and her passing deeply felt.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, meanwhile, recalled a lunch at Buckingham Palace where the late Queen was well briefed, asking him why Red Bull’s drivers were not getting along.

If Ferrari are to win on Sunday, it will likely have to be via Charles Leclerc, with team-mate Carlos Sainz having to drop to the back of the field after taking new parts. But Leclerc’s task has been helped with many of Ferrari’s main rivals also picking up grid penalties.

Hamilton and co tributes
Hamilton and co tributes

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have both opted to take new internal combustion engines, which will drop them down the grid five and 10 places respectively. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will start from the back after taking a whole new power unit.

Italian Grand Prix second practice classification

  1. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari 1:21.664

  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull +0.143

  3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari  +0.193

  4. Lando Norris, McLaren +0.674

  5. George Russell, Mercedes +0.722

  6. Sergio Perez, Red Bull +0.730

  7. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes +0.839

  8. Esteban Ocon, Alpine  +1.064

  9. Fernando Alonso, Alpine +1.088

  10. Alexander Albon, Williams  +1.171

  11. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +1.247

  12. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo +1.274

  13. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo +1.329

  14. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +1.471

  15. Yui Tsunoda, AlphaTauri +1.553

  16. Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1.893

  17. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +2.067

  18. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +2.121

  19. Nicholas Latifi, Williams +2.9318

  20. Mick Schumacher, Haas +2.922

Italian GP practice, as it happened

05:34 PM

Okay, that is it from me today

I will be back tomorrow for all the action from qualifying. That begins at 3pm BST, so our coverage will be up and running from around 2pm.

05:09 PM

Again, I do think Verstappen has a bit more than that

In any case, the issue for Ferrari has been maintaining their pace over a race, rather than on one-lap. Verstappen takes a five-place grid drop, yes, but Sainz will take at least 15. So, I just can't see a way how Verstappen is not the clear favourite for this race.

Still, there's always a chance of a collision at turn one and he may be a bit further back than he is used to. But his car is so quick he will want to stay out of trouble.

05:05 PM

FP2 - Full classification

  1. SAI 1:21.664

  2. VER +0.143

  3. LEC +0.193

  4. NOR +0.674

  5. RUS +0.722

  6. PER +0.730

  7. HAM +0.839

  8. OCO +1.064

  9. ALO +1.088

  10. ALB +1.171

  11. RIC +1.247

  12. ZHO +1.274

  13. BOT +1.329

  14. GAS +1.471

  15. TSU +1.553

  16. MAG +1.893

  17. VET +2.067

  18. STR +2.121

  19. LAT +2.9318

  20. MSC +2.922

05:03 PM

FP2 ends - Sainz fastest

It's a Friday practice double for Ferrari, though a 1-3 this time rather than a 1-2. Top three within two tenths and then Lando Norris.

Tsunoda under investigation for failing to slow under yellow flags. 

04:59 PM

FP2 - Two minutes remain

Leclerc has a moment at the first chicane. He's not the first and won't be the last. Nothing to be too alarmed at, though. Shadows falling on Monza. Albon runs very wide into the gravel at the Curva Grande, I think. Bottas does it at the second Lesmo, for the second time this session. A lot of gravel deposited on the track there now.

04:55 PM

FP2 - I don't think much to Mercedes' high-fuel pace

Hamilton and Verstappen have both done around nine laps on a set of mediums but the Dutchman is lapping about 0.9s faster.  Russell a little better but he's only five laps onto a stint on the softs, so not a fair comparison.

Perez a few tenths quicker than Sainz, and they are both five laps into their run on the medium tyres.

04:52 PM

FP2 - Into the final 10 minutes

They are onto the long-runs now, so the order is unlikely to change.

04:50 PM

FP2 - I still think Verstappen has quite a bit more in the tank

But hopefully not. Hopefully Ferrari's pace is real. That said, Perez is about six-tenths behind him which is about what we have come to expect recently. So perhaps that is representative.

Meanwhile, the Mexican has an enormous lock-up on the medium tyres through turn one. It left a massive flat spot. On he continues.

04:46 PM

FP2 - Hamilton also not too happy

He says the car is "very unstable". I expect they have made some set-up tweaks for this session and it has had this effect. Looks lovely at Monza at the moment as they enter the final couple of hours of daylight.

14 minutes remain. 

04:45 PM

FP2 - Russell on the radio

"Quite a bit more bottoming on the straight," he says. You can hear it on the TV audio. Mercedes had a good race in Zandvoort last week but this is expected to be a much tough track for them.

George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy - Getty Images Europe 
George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy - Getty Images Europe

04:42 PM

FP2 - 20 minutes left

Verstappen is now out on track. No massive change of order on those latest runs. Leclerc did another quick lap and improved and Perez did too.

04:39 PM

FP2 - Sainz goes fastest

0.143s ahead of Verstappen. Russell into fifth but seven-tenths off Sainz's best. Verstappen still not out, so may not do another qualifying simulation.

04:37 PM

FP2 resumes

Not exactly a flurry of cars returning to the track, but about 10 or 12 initially. More will come, I am sure, but no Verstappen or Hamilton yet.

04:35 PM

FP2 - 25 minutes remaining on the clock

The session is about to restart so not too much time lost.

04:34 PM

FP2 - Order under the red flag

  1. VER 1:21.807

  2. LEC +0.500

  3. NOR +0.531

  4. SAI +0.676

  5. HAM +0.696

  6. ALO +0.945

  7. ALB +1.028

  8. PER +1.059

  9. RIC +1.104

  10. ZHO +1.131

  11. BOT +1.186

  12. RUS +1.216

  13. TSU +1.410

  14. MAG +1.750

  15. OCO +1.822

  16. STR +1.978

  17. GAS +1.999

  18. LAT +2.175

  19. VET +2.664

  20. MSC +2.779

04:32 PM

FP2 - RED FLAG

The engine seemed to seize on exit of the second chicane. Far from ideal given he did not run in first practice and only did nine laps here.

I will update the overall order shortly but it is a bit of a mess as some cars had done a representative hot lap and others had not. Most had, but far from all.

04:30 PM

FP2 - Verstappen begins another quick lap

He's two tenths up on his best time after two sectors, on the third lap of these tyres.

We have yellow flags on track as it looks like Vettel has spun... wait, no, it's Mick Schumacher at the first Lesmo. Vettel's car had appeared stationary on the driver tracker.

Verstappen improved to a 1:21.807 to go exactly have a second quicker than Leclerc.

That's a red flag as Schumacher's stricken car is in a tricky spot. 

04:27 PM

FP2 - 34 minutes remain

Lando Norris moves into third, knocking Fernando Alonso down to fifth. Norris only 0.035s off Verstappen, who has just locked up and gone straight over the first chicane.

Bit of a problem with Sainz's left sidepod, with the bodywork off.

04:24 PM

FP2 - Only the Haas cars (practicing the tow) out on track

They are currently in 14th and 20th. Both are on the softs. Schumacher crosses the line to improve 19th and Magnussen now goes 13th, just under 1.6s off Verstappen's fastest time.

Qualifying simulation runs about to begin...

04:20 PM

FP2 - Current Top 10

  1. VER 1:22.203

  2. LEC +0.004

  3. SAI +0.180

  4. PER +0.563

  5. BOT +0.690

  6. RUS +0.720

  7. TSU +0.914

  8. HAM +1.029

  9. ALO +1.183

  10. OCO +1.361

04:17 PM

FP2 - If you look very closely indeed...

...you can see the Red Bull tribute to Queen Elizabeth. See it, but perhaps not quite read it. It is Queen Elizabeth's royal insignia with 1926-2022 dated below.

 Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy - Getty Images Europe 
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy - Getty Images Europe

Meanwhile Sergio Perez, driving the RB18 with Queen Elizabeth tribute, goes fourth on the mediums 0.563s off his team-mate in top spot. Only Bottas has run on the softs so far. He is in fifth.

04:09 PM

FP2 - Verstappen responds to Leclerc with a 1:22.303

That puts him fastest, 0.004s ahead of Leclerc.

04:07 PM

FP2 - Leclerc finishes a tidy lap...

...and goes fastest. 0.714s faster than Verstappen. Three purple sectors.

04:06 PM

FP2 - Verstappen currently fastest

His time of 1:23.021 - on the medium tyres - is 0.135s faster than the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, also on the mediums.

04:02 PM

FP2 - 58 minutes remain

Red Bull have added their tribute to Queen Elizabeth on their nosecone since first practice. An Austrian-owned but British-based team, of course.

04:01 PM

GREEN LIGHT: FP2 begins

Stroll and Schumacher back in their cars after they had others in their places earlier today.

03:54 PM

Verstappen's fifth place in FP1 was not really a true reflection of his pace

He was blocked quite badly by Lando Norris in the final sector. I think he would have been probably a full second up on where he actually ended up. Let's see if something similar plays out in FP2.

03:40 PM

Hello again

FP2 begins in about 20 minutes and we will be here for all the updates. There is a raft of grid penalties this weekend which could make the race a bit more interesting. But I am not sure that it will be enough to stop Max Verstappen from further increasing his championship lead.

02:07 PM

FP1 - Full classification

  1. LEC 1:22.410

  2. SAI +0.007

  3. RUS +0.279

  4. HAM +0.421

  5. VER +0.430

  6. OCO +0.665

  7. ALO +0.689

  8. TSU +0.850

  9. BOT +0.984

  10. RIC +1.101

  11. ALB +1.119

  12. ZHO +1.160

  13. GAS +1.230

  14. PER +1.251

  15. STR +1.278

  16. NOR +1.446

  17. MAG +1.596

  18. GIO +1.907

  19. DEV +2.321

  20. LAT +2.531

Second practice starts at 4pm BST and I will be back at around 3.30pm for the build-up to that.

02:02 PM

CHEQUERED FLAG - FP1 ends

It's a Ferrari 1-2 with Charles Leclerc at the head of it. I don't think that was entirely representative, but you never know. Verstappen will take a five-place grid penalty so if their pace is half-decent then they could be in with a shout. Not sure I see it, though. Even if Verstappen starts seventh.

Sainz loses the rear and goes straight over at the Ascari chicane.

02:00 PM

FP1 - Ricciardo into the top 10

Well ahead of Norris in 16th. He won here last year, of course, in a McLaren 1-2. It has not been very much fun since, then, though.

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy. - Getty Images Europe 
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy. - Getty Images Europe

Verstappen goes again on soft tyres but it's not a pacy one. He's half a second down after one sector.

01:57 PM

FP1  - Into the final five minutes

De Vries runs wide at the final chicane. Russell complains he almost crashed into the exit of turn five. And he did. I think Sainz fully backed off on the exit of the chicane and Russell nearly shunted him.

01:53 PM

FP1 - Italian watch

Antonio Giovinazzi is the only Italian driver in this session, deputising for Mick Schumacher at Haas. He is currently 18th, 2.321s off Leclerc's fastest time.

01:50 PM

FP1 - Russell not at all happy with his car

He says it's not stopping at turn one. Not literally, but to some degree. Not ideal when you're barrelling in at 220mph.

Meanwhile, Leclerc still is quickest with Sainz now in second. Russell, despite his issues, has moved up to 0.279s behind Leclerc and Hamilton fourth, 0.421s off. Verstappen is fifth, but probably has another second to gain after that lap that was blocked by Norris.

10 minutes remain. 

01:42 PM

FP1 - Updated Top 10

  1. LEC 1:22.410

  2. VER +0.430

  3. RUS +0.580

  4. OCO +0.665

  5. ALO +0.689

  6. BOT +0.984

  7. HAM +1.051

  8. RIC +1.101

  9. ALB +1.119

  10. ZHO +1.160

01:39 PM

FP1 - Hamilton gets twitchy out of the second chicane

Team-mate Russell had just gone third, 0.580s slower than Leclerc overall and Hamilton is roughly that amount down  on Leclerc after two sectors. He crosses the line a full second off, so loses even more time in the final three corners. That's not good, is it?

01:37 PM

FP1 - Verstappen begins his first hot lap on the soft tyres

He is 0.259s quicker than Leclerc after one sector... and three-tenths up after two sectors. He gets caught up behind Lando Norris a bit heading into the Parabolica (or the Curva Michele Alboreto as it is now known), who does not let him through. That has cost him time and he comes across the line four-tenths quicker, so lost a lot of time there. Not sure he will be pleased with that in the slightest.

"Unbelievable," he says on the radio.

01:34 PM

FP1 - Mercedes mark Queen Elizabeth II's death with black band

You can't see it that clearly here but it's on the red of the Ineos-branded air intake.

Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during practice - REUTERS
Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during practice - REUTERS

01:32 PM

FP1 - Alonso on a quick lap

Gets a slipstream from De Vries and goes third, 0.852s behind Leclerc.

01:30 PM

FP1 - Leclerc now fastest

A 1:22.410 puts him four-tenths ahead of Verstappen, who has yet to run on anything but the hard tyres.  Plenty of soft-tyre runners now, though.

01:28 PM

FP1 - It should actually just be a five-place grid penalty for Verstappen

Not sure that really changes much unless he gets caught up in an incident at the first chicane.

01:25 PM

FP1 - Ferrari running a special livery this weekend

Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Ferrari's Charles Leclerc during practice - REUTERS
Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Ferrari's Charles Leclerc during practice - REUTERS
Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy - Getty Images Europe 
Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 09, 2022 in Monza, Italy - Getty Images Europe

The yellow looks good on the front and rear wing and the numbers. Not sure about the fin at the back...

01:22 PM

FP1 - Ahhh, grid penalties a-plenty this weekend

Looks like might Red Bulls will take 10, Hamilton will be from the back of the grid and Sainz will take 15 spots. Tsunoda and Bottas also from the back. Does this mean Ferrari have a chance? Well, sort of. I don't know. Verstappen's pace was so searing at Spa that he might be the favourite wherever he starts.

Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Red Bull's Max Verstappen during practice - REUTERS
Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Red Bull's Max Verstappen during practice - REUTERS

He is currently 1.1 seconds clear of Yuki Tsunoda and 1.2 clear of Fernando Alonso.

01:19 PM

FP1 - Perez locks up

Comes back into the pit lane at the end of the lap.  De Vries has done six laps for Aston Martin but has not set a lap time. He had some front aero rakes on his first run so that explains some of that, I guess. He has also driven for Williams and Mercedes in FP1 this year.

01:16 PM

FP1 - Top 10 after 45 mins

  1. VER 1:23.234

  2. OCO +1.047

  3. ALB +1.089

  4. ALO +1.401

  5. PER +1.460

  6. LEC +1.802

  7. TSU +1.814

  8. BOT +1.922

  9. STR +1.964

  10. GAS +2.035

01:13 PM

FP1 - Verstappen improves again

He goes quicker still with a 1:23.449, around eight-tenths quicker than Esteban Ocon.

01:11 PM

FP1 - Hamilton running on the hard tyres currently

He goes into 15th, three seconds off the pace. Imagine his focus will be on long-run pace rather than one-lap pace due to his grid penalty this weekend.

01:09 PM

FP1 - Ocon slots into second place

With a 1:25.512, a couple of tenths behind Verstappen. The Alpine has been the fourth quickest car recently, with a bit of an advantage over McLaren.

01:06 PM

FP1 - 55 mins remains

Max Verstappen goes quickest with a 1:25.230 in what will probably be a familiar sight throughout the weekend. That puts him around a second ahead of his team-mate Perez.

Meanwhile, Perez's rear wing is oscillating wildly as he opens the flap on the pit straight. Doesn't look all that stable...

01:02 PM

GREEN LIGHT: FP1 begins

60 minutes to go. A bit cloudy at Monza. Well, momentarily. The sun comes out as Nyck de Vries, the Dutch driver, who is subbing in for Sebastian Vettel in this session, rounds the first chicane.

12:54 PM

F1's teams and drivers observe a two-minute silence

They all line up in the pit lane. Of course an international sport, but one that leans quite heavily British with plenty of the teams based there. Three British drivers (plus Anglo-Thai driver Alexander Albon) on the grid, plus an Australian and two Canadians.

Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilto, George Russell and CEO of Formula One Group, Stefano Domenicali are seen during a moments silence after the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth before practice - REUTERS
Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2022 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilto, George Russell and CEO of Formula One Group, Stefano Domenicali are seen during a moments silence after the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth before practice - REUTERS

12:49 PM

Weather forecast

Looks like it will be dry. Some cloud cover and sunny spells in first practice and then the cloud should clear for FP2. Around 25-26 degrees for both sessions.

12:37 PM

Lewis Hamilton also pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth

"How do you find the words to describe the loss of Her Majesty The Queen? She was truly an iconic leader, an inspiration and a reassuring presence for most, if not all, of our lives.

"Since the sad news yesterday, I've been reflecting on her incredible life. She was a symbol of hope for so many and she served her country with dignity, dedication and kindness. She was truly like no other and I'm grateful to have lived during her time. Her legacy will be long-lasting and her passing deeply felt.

"I had the incredible honour of being able to spend time with her. It is something I'll never forget. We talked about our shared love of dogs and she was incredibly generous with her time. I know the whole nation and many others around the world will be mourning her loss and my thoughts and prayers are with her family and all those close to her, who have lost a loved one. Rest in Peace."

12:33 PM

Current constructor standings

12:23 PM

Current F1 standings: Top 12

12:19 PM

Drivers and teams pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Mercedes driver George Russell posted the following on Twitter.

"I'm so sad to hear about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her devotion to our country and her gracious leadership were inspirational to so many generations of people in the UK and around the world.

My family and I send our deepest condolences to The Royal Family and to all those who admired her service to our country for seven decades.

Rest in Peace."

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem wrote:

"On behalf of the @FIA community, I offer our sincere condolences to the Royal Family on the very sad news of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. We pay tribute to her remarkable life of service. Our thoughts are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth."

11:26 AM

Good afternoon F1 fans

And welcome to our coverage for first and second practice for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The drivers' title is all but Max Verstappen's, with his enormous 109-point lead with just seven races remaining. Verstappen could not even take part in the next four rounds and still be guaranteed a championship lead.

Charles Leclerc has not been a realistic contender for some time now and Sergio Perez, who is level on points with the Ferrari driver, never really was. It's a shame after last year's superb season, but there you go. Ferrari have been more competitive than their points total suggest, but, operationally, they have made a complete mess of the season.

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (R) salutes the crowd as Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (L) passes by, after he took the pole position during the qualifying session ahead of the Dutch Formula One Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit on September 3, 2022 - AFP
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (R) salutes the crowd as Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (L) passes by, after he took the pole position during the qualifying session ahead of the Dutch Formula One Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit on September 3, 2022 - AFP

The other big news coming out this morning is that Porsche have pulled out of their proposed engine supplier partnership with Red Bull. However, the German company remains interested in entering in Formula One in some capacity. Reuters reports further:

"The two companies have now jointly come to the conclusion that these talks will no longer be continued," Porsche AG said in a statement.

Volkswagen's former chief Herbert Diess said in May its Porsche and Audi brands would join Formula One, long dominated by the automaker's German rival Mercedes-Benz .

Media reports had suggested long-standing talks between Porsche and Red Bull were stalling due to a gap between how much control the Porsche wanted and what Red Bull was prepared to give.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner ruled out a Porsche takeover last Friday and said any partnership would have to be on the Formula One team's terms.

"The premise (of discussions) was always a partnership on eye-level, which would include the team alongside a motoring partnership. This could not be realised," Porsche's statement said.

It was at the Belgian Grand Prix last month that Audi confirmed its entry into Formula One from 2026, though it remains to be seen in what form it will be, whether as engine supplier or buying out a current team.  That, though, is a long way off.

What is not a long way off is first practice. It begins at 1pm BST with Red Bull expected to be the team to beat again. Ferrari have not won here since 2019 and have generally been more competitive in qualifying than in races. Mercedes, expected to struggle here, are hampered by Lewis Hamilton starting from the back of the grid after taking his fourth power unit of the season, incurring a grid penalty.