Hamilton leads the way as Mercedes dominate practice at Monza

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Mercedes dominated free practice at the Italian Grand Prix on Friday, with Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest time of the day.

Hamilton clocked a time of one minute, 20.192 seconds in FP2 at Monza to ensure Mercedes finished both sessions in the top two positions.

Valtteri Bottas was quicker in FP1, so the reigning champion is expecting a close battle with his team-mate in qualifying on Saturday.

"It felt like we made some improvement from FP1 to FP2. FP1 it didn't feel great. FP2 we made some steps in the right direction, so it's going to be close between us," Hamilton told Sky Sports.

"I think we have a few more steps to make and I know it'll be where I want it to be ... Valtteri's quick round here so it's likely to be a bit closer than somewhere like Spa."

McLaren driver Lando Norris got closest to the Silver Arrows but was still over half a second slower, while Pierre Gasly's impressive day saw him go fourth quickest.

Daniel Ricciardo was 15th but would have placed third had his fastest lap not been deleted for exceeding the track limits.

Max Verstappen suffered the same fate and was fifth in the standings after running wide at turn 11.

The Dutchman also brought out the red flags when he span off during the first session and required repairs to his front wing which kept him off track for 20 minutes.

"Not a good day. Struggling with balance and grip in general, so I've got a bit of work to do," Verstappen said.

"Yeah, just trying to find the limits [on the lap that was deleted]. Sometimes you just let it run wide. In practice it doesn't really matter.

"[Tyre wear] is not great, but first we have to solve our grip issues. Then if we have a balanced car the tyre wear should be okay."

Ferrari look set for another disappointing weekend, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel going off track and spinning out respectively at the Lesmos in FP2.