Formula One: What to watch at Monza, Italy's "Temple of Speed"

David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton is proving to be the Ayrton Senna of his generation

David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton is proving to be the Ayrton Senna of his generation Credit AP

"There are a couple of things that we need to do better like with the vehicle balance and the stability under braking which is important around here to get the confidence".

"It just didn't feel easy to put the auto where you wanted it and drive hard, so we have some work to be done for tomorrow and if we get it more like we want it, then it should be better and go a little bit faster".

"Because you are low down-force, you need to have the confidence to just throw the auto there". We are not yet where I think we can be but we should be a bit better tomorrow.

"For sure we'll be quicker than today, how much?"

"I have in the past, many years ago, felt that I was in the enemy's back garden", he said.

Hamilton said: "My ultimate goal is to win and put a dent in that lead Sebastian has had all season". "It was a clean day".

Finally, we get to Parabolica - one of the most famous corners in Formula 1.

For both teams there is also a balance to be struck between developing the current vehicle and switching resources to next year's, to ensure that they do not start the 2018 season on the back foot. "It is interesting to hear who calls and who is trying to either take my seat, or take the seat next door to me, and then to see, following those calls, the manoeuvres that happen - such as Sebastian signing".

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Hamilton has regularly spoken about his admiration for the Italian marque in the past but, in the heat of the tightest of title duels, the Mercedes man is aiming to ensure the weekend-long celebrations are topped off with a win for the home team. "The speed and pace they had was very strong".

In a surprising move up for struggling McLaren, whose Honda engine has been short on both performance and reliability, Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne was seventh quickest and Fernando Alonso eight.

"Initially in FP1 we went slightly in the wrong direction with the setup", he continued.

"We're going to wait and see", she said when asked about the driver lineup. "But we managed to change it around for FP2 and the vehicle felt a lot better".

Behind the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth, but the Red Bull duo will be thrown towards the back of the grid following engine changes on both cars. "I think we've made improvements on all fronts and I'm very happy". "It makes sense to take the penalties here as this track is already not that good for us".

"We just have to keep our development scope steep and continue to bring bits on the auto and deliver faultlessly". This time, however, it was Alonso helping his team-mate, as the Spaniard has a 35-place grid penalty.

Watch out for something that could potentially throw a spanner in the works in qualifying is teams making their drivers work together to slipstream each other in alternate laps in qualifying.

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