Lewis Hamilton led a McLaren one-two in the second Friday practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
As speculation over his future continued to dominate paddock conversation, Hamilton set the pace with a 1m25.290s lap.
That time was achieved on the softer of this weekend's Pirelli tyres, as was Spa winner Jenson Button's 1m25.328s lap in second place in the sister McLaren.
The Woking squad's move to the front was at the expense of home favourite Ferrari, which had led the way through the middle part of the session.
But despite the speed that saw him on top for a long spell with a 1m25.348s on hard tyres, championship leader Fernando Alonso had a number of problems.
First a brake issue required attention, then a gearbox issue curtailed his session.
Alonso's time still held up for third, just 0.058 seconds off the pace.
His team-mate Felipe Massa was next up. The Brazilian's only glitch was a vent flying off the top of his helmet at speed.
Nico Rosberg completed the top five for Mercedes. His morning practice pace-setting team-mate Michael Schumacher suffered DRS gremlins throughout the afternoon, and was back in 10th.
Kimi Raikkonen was fastest for a while early on and ended up sixth in the lead Lotus.
His one-off team-mate Jerome d'Ambrosio - standing in for the banned Romain Grosjean - was 0.6s slower in 12th.
Force India continued its strong Spa form to take seventh and eighth, Nico Hulkenberg ahead of Paul di Resta. Sauber's Sergio Perez was next up.
It was a quiet session for champion team Red Bull. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were back in 11th and 13th.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.290s 32 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.328s + 0.038s 35 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.348s + 0.058s 17 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.430s + 0.140s 43 5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.446s + 0.156s 41 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m25.504s + 0.214s 42 7. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m25.546s + 0.256s 40 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m25.547s + 0.257s 36 9. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.068s + 0.778s 32 10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m26.094s + 0.804s 38 11. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.104s + 0.814s 35 12. Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1m26.157s + 0.867s 36 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m26.394s + 1.104s 31 14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m26.404s + 1.114s 42 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.724s + 1.434s 33 16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.730s + 1.440s 17 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m26.783s + 1.493s 39 18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m26.841s + 1.551s 39 19. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.864s + 1.574s 36 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m27.222s + 1.932s 36 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.944s + 2.654s 36 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.968s + 2.678s 36 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m28.575s + 3.285s 34 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m28.779s + 3.489s 21 All timing unofficial