Ferrari always pulls something special out for Monza, whether it's this year's livery that pays tribute to its Le Mans 24 Hours success or a win on debut with the team for Charles Leclerc.
This year, it looks like the Scuderia has focused a lot of attention on maximising its chances in qualifying against Red Bull.
Monza is one of the outlier circuits on the calendar as it is where the teams concentrate the most on top speeds by bringing the smallest rear wings of the year.
Red Bull has shown that it has formidable top speed throughout the season, but Ferrari's low-drag SF-23 is making a case for an upset in front of the home crowd.
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In the morning session, Max Verstappen led Carlos Sainz by just 0.046s, having both used only the Hard tyre. Sainz later set the quickest lap in the afternoon session: 1:21.355 on the Soft, with Leclerc three-tenths off having not completed a lap on low fuel.
Verstappen's best effort was two-tenths off in fifth having been caught out by traffic, while Lando Norris continued to show McLaren's improvements are working with the second quickest time.
A look at the data from each of their laps shows Sainz was quickest mostly down the long straights, with his top speed around nine kph quicker than Verstappen on the run to the Rettifilo chicane.
Verstappen gets a better exit, but Norris briefly gets ahead through Curva Grande before the top speed of the Ferrari takes over by the time they reach the Roggia chicane. Verstappen took a quicker entry speed but Sainz comes out on top with a slightly faster exit.
Through the Lesmos, the MCL60 is able to carry quicker apex speed but the exit from Sainz is faster, which enables him to get ahead by the time they reach the Ascari chicane.
Verstappen hits traffic at this stage, which is where it starts to affect his overall lap. Norris is briefly ahead when they run through Alboreto [formerly the Parabolica] but starts to lose that time as they head onto the main start-finish straight.
Head-to-head Monza Soft tyre laps
Red Bull run different rear wings
There was a slight difference between both Verstappen and Sergio Perez's rear wings in FP1, with the Dutchman running a slightly skinner but taller variation on the RB19.
The results saw Verstappen lose around 0.6s to Perez on the straights, but gained nearly a second (0.8s) through the corners.
The team reverted to the smaller one used by Perez for the FP2 laps, but compared to Norris and Sainz he can carry more speed at corner entry and is consistently quicker at every corner apart from the Ascari's (where he encountered traffic).
It's clear Ferrari has compromised some of its performance through the corners for ultimate top speed, while McLaren seemed satisfied they achieved good enough levels of downforce without inducing too much drag.