Nico Rosberg was fastest in second practice at the Italian Grand Prix as team-mate Lewis Hamilton took second despite reliability problems.
Hamilton sets pace in first practice
Italian GP practise: Inside F1 at Monza
Eddie Jordan War declared at Mercedes
Monza’s famous old autodrome just outside Milan is F1’s oldest venue, and a strong favourite with all participants for its unique demands, character and atmosphere.
However, it is unlikely to be as packed with the boisterous Italian Ferrari fans known as the tifosi as normal, with organisers reporting that ticket sales are down
This is the consequence of a difficult year for Ferrari, who are having their least competitive season for 20 years
The Williams cars are expected to be Mercedes’ closest challengers this weekend, underlined by Bottas’s pace despite the fact that Williams tend to run their cars heavier on fuel on Fridays as they focus on the race, and then become more competitive on Saturday and Sunday
On the race-simulation runs late in the session, when the teams run on heavy fuel to try out the car in the specification in which they will start the race, Williams appeared to be a match for Mercedes, with Red Bull and Ferrari closely matched a little behind them
And, just as in qualifying trim, Hamilton appeared at least a match for Rosberg, despite his truncated session