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Formula 1

Ferrari on top again in final Italian GP practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

Carlos Sainz continued his and Ferrari’s strong single-lap form during Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix weekend by topping final practice.

Key moments:

> Sainz outpaces Verstappen

> Hamilton best of the rest

> Albon ninth on hard tyre

Sainz led Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen by just under a tenth in a session that featured a fairly wide variety of runplans, likely as a result of the Alternative Tyre Allocation trial – which will mean teams run different compounds in different qualifying segments later today.

Verstappen led much of the session, in which both Red Bull and Ferrari ran only soft tyres, after taking first place with his very first flying lap.

But while his late qualifying simulation on softs did reinstate Verstappen at the top by almost half a second over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, Sainz then went faster still, his 1m20.912s ending up as the best effort of practice.

F1 2023 R14 Fp3

Sainz did also pick up a warning flag for impeding Oscar Piastri at the first chicane, the incident prompting the McLaren driver to ask “mate, is Carlos blind or what?” on team radio.

Former Toro Rosso team-mates Sainz and Verstappen were alone in dipping into the 1m20s range, with Hamilton – in a session in which he’d had multiple off-track moments but considerably Mercedes outpaced team-mate George Russell – best of the rest in third.

Charles Leclerc continued to trail Ferrari team-mate Sainz, this time by over half a second, but was still as high as fourth.

Fernando Alonso was the lead Aston Martin driver in fifth, with Russell sixth, three tenths down on Hamilton.

Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top eight, followed by Alex Albon – with the Williams driver the best-placed of those not to do their best time on the soft tyre.

In fact, Albon – 1.1s off the pace – logged his best effort on the hard.

Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was only 10th, half a second behind the championship leader after their first runs and then denied late-session running by a reported small oil leak

Lance Stroll, who had given over his Aston Martin to reserve Felipe Drugovich for FP1 as part of the rookie running rules and then got virtually no running in FP2 due to a fuel systems issue, was 11th here, half a second off Alonso.

AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo stand-in Liam Lawson was 12th on the medium tyre, half a tenth up on team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m20.912s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m20.998s +0.086s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m21.453s +0.541s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m21.486s +0.574s
5 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m21.711s +0.799s
6 George Russell Mercedes 1m21.73s +0.818s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m21.884s +0.972s
8 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m21.985s +1.073s
9 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m22.054s +1.142s
10 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m22.192s +1.28s
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m22.245s +1.333s
12 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m22.296s +1.384s
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m22.297s +1.385s
14 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.302s +1.39s
15 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m22.38s +1.468s
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m22.511s +1.599s
17 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.515s +1.603s
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m22.739s +1.827s
19 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m22.742s +1.83s
20 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m22.852s +1.94s
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