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.
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||1:20.998||+0.086s||23|
|5||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:21.711||+0.799s||24|
|7||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:21.884||+0.972s||21|
|8||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas Ferrari||1:21.985||+1.073s||27|
|9||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:22.054||+1.142s||17|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||1:22.192||+1.280s||16|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:22.245||+1.333s||31|
|12||40||Liam Lawson||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||1:22.296||+1.384s||28|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||1:22.297||+1.385s||27|
|14||81||Oscar Piastri||Mclaren Mercedes||1:22.302||+1.390s||17|
|15||2||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||1:22.380||+1.468s||22|
|16||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:22.511||+1.599s||29|
|17||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:22.515||+1.603s||23|
|18||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:22.739||+1.827s||19|
|19||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:22.742||+1.830s||29|
|20||10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault||1:22.852||+1.940s||21|