FP3: Bottas puts his dominant W11 to the top

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Italy, Autodromo Nazionale di Monzait

Mercedes continued to set the pace at Monza with Valtteri Bottas posting the fastest time of the session. McLaren delivered the biggest surprise of the final practice with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris ending up second and third fastest.

18 minutes had to pass before a timed lap appeared on the timing board. It was McLaren’s Carlos Sainz who posted the first timed lap with a 1m21.875 on the mediums. The Spaniard managed to shave off three tenths of a second on his next hot lap.

Ferrari drivers continued to struggle for pace with Charles Leclerc posting a time of 1m21.766 despite being on the soft compound. His teammate Sebastian Vettel was three tenths of a second slower than the Monegasque.

When Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas joined the track action, they quickly jumped to the sharp end of the field. Bottas recorded a time of 1m20.622 on Pirelli’s C4 compound on his second hot lap, pipping his teammate by 38 thousands of a second.

Following a difficult Friday for Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver showed a much improved speed. The Dutchman took over the lead on the leaderboard with a time of 1m20.456 despite using the Yellow medium rubber.

Mercedes drivers were the first to roll out on to the track on the second fresh set of tyres as they wanted to have a clean track during their qualifying simulation. Using every inch of the Parabolica corner, Bottas improved his previous best lap to 1m20.089 that was enough to top the session.

Despite using and practising the slip-streaming, Ferrari drivers failed to keep up with the pace. Leclerc ended up 11th fastest, over eight tenths of a second off the pace while Vettel finished in 15th spot, one place behind Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

There was a slight interruption to the action as red flag was deployed with eight minutes to go. It was Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault R.S.20 that endured technical issues at the Variante della Roggia. The Australian had to park his car on the road between Turn 6 and the first Lesmo corner.

When the action resumed, McLaren driver Carlos Sainz used the dying minutes of the session by jumping to the second place, setting a time of 1m20.318, beating his teammate Lando Norris by just 94 thousands of a second.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:20.08914
255Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:20.318+0.229s14
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:20.412+0.323s15
43Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:20.419+0.330s9
544Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:20.439+0.350s11
633Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:20.456+0.367s15
723Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:20.563+0.474s15
831Esteban OconRENAULT1:20.693+0.604s13
918Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:20.804+0.715s14
1011Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:20.897+0.808s13
1116Charles LeclercFERRARI1:20.917+0.828s11
1210Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:20.936+0.847s14
1326Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:20.953+0.864s13
148Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:21.205+1.116s14
155Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:21.263+1.174s13
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:21.436+1.347s15
177Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:21.459+1.370s15
1863George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:21.677+1.588s16
196Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:21.764+1.675s15
2099Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:22.090+2.001s15