Formula One: Raikkonen smashes lap record as Ferrari dominates

Marcus Ericsson's Sauber has huge crash in Italian GP second practice

Vettel has done so previously with Toro Rosso (2008) and Red Bull (2011 and 2013).

Hamilton admits it has been tough to fight with Ferrari in recent races, but Mercedes are pushing as hard as they can to reclaim their position at the top of the pile, and he knows that they will be putting everything they can into this weekend's race.

But Vettel is sounding confident.

On being told that he was only second-fastest, just over 0.1 sec behind, a disgruntled Vettel said: "We'll talk later".

This 5.8 kilometre circuit is the spiritual home of Ferrari and it comes as no surprise to learn that the Italian giant has won here more than any other manufacturer, although not since 2010.

"I don't think anybody was purposefully [going to] take a stupid amount of risk to damage someone else's auto".

After another frustrating race at Spa, the 29-year-old from Perth was forced to retire after being caught up in the opening turn carnage which saw Fernando Alonso propelled into the Belgian air at speed.

The last race saw Vettel getting closer to the top position of the F1 drivers' rankings held by Hamilton at present. A Vettel-led Ferrari 1-2 would reduce his lead - if he finished third - to just seven points with seven races remaining. "This will be a development race that determines whether we win or lose the championship".

"This is a great team and we are happy with how it is going", Camilleri said.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolf, who recognised his auto had deficits, felt the jury was still out on that.

"Race-to-race there is always a variability of performance that is related to many aspects - type of circuit, tyre management, performance elements of the vehicle itself", he said.

One fan wrote: "Good luck for today!"

"But I don't see how it changes". So I am very curious to see how it's going to go - previous year we were very much in control of the whole weekend and Ferrari had their worst of the season.

Red Bull pairing Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, once again not in touch with the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.

Vettel's gloomy mood had improved little by the time he reached the press conference room. The Canadian driver has come under much criticism because of his father's wealth (not helped by the expected move to Force India, now owned by his dad) but he did well to deliver Williams its first Q3 appearance of what has otherwise been a dismal campaign so far.

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