Hamilton ‘anticipates’ Ferrari challenge


Lewis Hamilton reckons Ferrari will take the fight to Mercedes at the Italian GP just as they did at Spa a week ago.

Although Hamilton dominated Friday’s opening practice session, 0.4s up on Valtteri Bottas and over a second ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel, it was Bottas who claimed the P1 in the day’s second session.

He clocked a 1:21.406 on the supersoft tyres to beat Hamilton to P1 by 0.056s while Vettel was a further 0.084s down.

Ferrari’s ability to turn up the pace between the two practices has led Hamilton to predict that the Scuderia will challenge them throughout the remainder of the Italian weekend just as they did in Belgium.

“It’s been a good day, a clean day,” he told reporters in the wake of Friday’s second practice.

“We got the running done, we got through our programme with no problems.

“The car seems nicely balanced here, we just have some work to do to eke out a little bit more performance.

“It looks quite close between us and the Ferraris, so I anticipate it’s going to be similar to the last race in that sense.”