FP3: Sainz edges out Verstappen in final practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Italy, Autodromo Nazionale di Monzait

Confirming his impressive pace this weekend, Carlos Sainz edged out double world champion Max Verstappen to the fastest time in the third and final practice at the F1 Italian Grand Prix. F1Technical’s senior writer Balazs Szabo reports from the Monza paddock.

The third one-hour session saw drivers follow a different approach, but most of them slotted in a high-fuel run after yesterday’s race simulations were interrupted by a red flag for Sergio Perez.

Using two sets of soft Pirelli tyres, Carlos Sainz put his Ferrari SF23 on top, setting the best lap time of the weekend with a 1m20.912s. His team-mate Charles Leclerc continued to struggle for pace, suffering from balance issues. The Monegasque took 4th in the end, but he was over half a second adrift of his Spanish team-mate.

Reigning champion Max Verstappen led the way early on, and he ended up second, only a second off Sainz. His team-mate Sergio Perez had an impressive start to his weekend yesterday, but his crash in the closing stages of Free Practice 2 seems to have negatively affected him as he finished the session down in P10, over a second off the pace. Moreover, his session was also complicated by a power unit issue that prevented him from going out for his qualifying simulation.

While he ended Friday’s running down at the bottom of the leaderboard, Lewis Hamilton displayed eye-catching performance in the final practice, ending up third. Interestingly, he was particularly strong through the first sector where he appeared to struggle for straight-line speed yesterday.

Haas looked strong yesterday which the American team could carry over to today with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg taking seventh and eighth respectively.

Alex Albon once again impressed as he placed his Williams inside the top-10, while his Miami-born team-mate Logan Sargeant was four tenths of a second slower and finished down in P15.

Alpine continued to struggle for pace as Esteban Ocon finished down in P18 while his team mate Pierre Gasly brought up the rear of the field.


155Carlos SainzFerrari1:20.91222
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:20.998+0.086s23
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:21.453+0.541s22
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:21.486+0.574s22
514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:21.711+0.799s24
663George RussellMercedes1:21.730+0.818s24
720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:21.884+0.972s21
827Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:21.985+1.073s27
923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:22.054+1.142s17
1011Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:22.192+1.280s16
1118Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:22.245+1.333s31
1240Liam LawsonAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:22.296+1.384s28
1322Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:22.297+1.385s27
1481Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:22.302+1.390s17
152Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:22.380+1.468s22
1677Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:22.511+1.599s29
174Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:22.515+1.603s23
1831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:22.739+1.827s19
1924Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:22.742+1.830s29
2010Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:22.852+1.940s21