Red Bull driver Max Verstappen set the pace in Saturday’s third and final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and team-mate Sergio Perez for first place at the Monza circuit.
Verstappen set a time of 1m 21.252s on soft tires to edge Leclerc by a margin of 0.347s – the Monegasque’s first run on the red-marked tire compromised by an error at the Variante della Roggia chicane – with Perez two and one- half-tenths further.
READ MORE: 5 things we learned from Friday’s practice at the Italian Grand Prix
Verstappen was also the fastest driver on medium-skid tracks – his first benchmark keeping him in the mix with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz even after Ferrari switched to softs.
It sets up an intriguing qualifying session later this afternoon, with Verstappen, Sainz and a host of other confirmed drivers to take penalties for engine and gearbox component changes.
Running of the red bulls
Running of the red bulls
Sainz was next in the other Ferrari – half a tenth behind Perez – with Fernando Alonso the “best of the rest” for Alpine in fifth and first to benefit from the various penalties.
McLaren’s Lando Norris remained in the lead in sixth, with Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton seventh and 10th respectively – sandwiching AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine (the latter joining the penalty list with engine change).
READ MORE: Horner explains Red Bull engine penalties at Monza as Verstappen says he’s ‘not worried’ about Ferrari pace
Grid penalties for the 2022 Italian Grand Prix
|Max Verstappen||5 pitches|
|Esteban Ocon||5 pitches|
|Sergio Perez||10 seats|
|Mick Schumacher||15 seats|
|Valtteri Bottas||15 seats|
|Kevin Magnussen||15 seats|
|carlos sainz||Grid background|
|Lewis Hamilton||Grid background|
|Yuki Tsunoda||Grid background|
Zhou Guanyu led Alfa Romeo’s charge to 11th, five places and three tenths quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with Pierre Gasly’s fellow AlphaTauri in 12th.
At Williams, a late driver change saw Nyck de Vries step into Alex Albon’s car for FP3 – and the rest of the weekend – after the Thai driver caught appendicitis.
Fresh out of his race in Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin in EP1, De Vries recovered from a gravel trip to Lesmo 1 to record the 14th fastest time, just under a tenth less than regular Williams driver Nicholas Latifi – both looking to secure a place on the 2023 grid.
FP3 Highlights: 2022 Italian Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo trailed teammate Lando Norris by half a second en route to 15th, ahead of the aforementioned Bottas and Vettel, and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas (another to make power unit changes).
At the rear there were further problems for Mick Schumacher, who spent most of the session stuck in the garage with a clutch problem that occurred when Haas started his car – engine penalties were also confirmed on his side of the garage.
READ MORE: Albon ruled out of Italian Grand Prix with appendicitis, as replacement De Vries prepares for F1 debut
This came after the German completed just nine laps on Friday. After stepping down for Antonio Giovinazzi in FP1, Schumacher’s FP2 session was derailed mid-term due to a power unit related stoppage.
Lance Stroll led the way for Aston Martin, six tenths off team-mate Vettel and 2.5 seconds off the pace set by Verstappen.
Qualifying for the 2022 Italian Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. local time. With the likes of Verstappen, Perez, Sainz and Hamilton taking penalties, who will start on pole at Monza?