Lewis Hamilton topped the Friday afternoon timesheet in Monza and admitted he is relaxed about the pace of his rivals ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
After the morning session was topped by Michael Schumacher, with a lap of 1:25.442, Hamilton took over in the afternoon, the McLaren driver touring the Autodromo di Monza in a time of 1:25.290. Afterwards Hamilton said he was comfortable with his car and the closeness of the competition at the Italian track where in FP2 the top five driver were separated by just 1500ths of a second.
“Lots of people had some very good long runs but we just need to focus on our job. I’m relaxed about it,” he said of the day’s running. “It’s a beautiful circuit stunning to drive. Incredibly high speed and when you get the flow right, it’s just such a great feeling.”
Hamilton added that there was more pace to find in his car but that it would be in terms of small improvements.
“You can always improve, maybe a little bit of time in sector one but trying to find that with the balance… we're really fine-tuning it at the moment.” He said. “It has been the better Friday out of the two we’ve had since the break! It definitely has been a lot smoother today and I hope that continues for the rest of the weekend. Today’s been quite productive. It’s been quite smooth in terms of the set-up direction we’ve been going in. There are still things we need to improve on the car but generally it’s been a good day.”
Hamilton’s closest rival in the session was team-mate Jenson Button, who finished the session in second, just 0.038 adrift of the 2008 champion.
“Today we had a lot of good running on both tyres on high fuel and lower fuel,” he said. “It’s not too bad. We tried a few things this afternoon, some of which were positive and then one of the things we did, which we had to keep on for the whole session, wasn’t fantastic but it’s something easy to go back on.”
While Hamilton was unconcerned by the pace of the team’s rivals Button was more wary, particularly of Ferrari, who saw Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finish third and fourth respectively.
“Ferrari’s pace is very good,” said Button. “They’re very good, both cars. They’re very competitive on both tyres, especially on the prime tyre. There are quite a few cars that are quick, the Mercedes, the Lotus cars. It’s going to be an interesting weekend. It won’t be straightforward for any of us.”