Valtteri Bottas maintained his edge in practice for Formula 1’s Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello on Saturday morning, but with Max Verstappen right on his tail.
Red Bull driver Verstappen had initially interrupted Mercedes duo Bottas and Lewis Hamilton’s 1-2 formation by getting between their early soft-tyred times on his second flying lap on a set of mediums in the middle of the session.
Friday pacesetter Bottas then raised the bar to a 1m16.530s on his final run, seven tenths of a second better than his previous mark, with Hamilton following him with a lap just 0.083s adrift.
But Verstappen still had an attack with soft tyres to come and got to within 0.017s of Bottas, despite a brush with the grass in the final sector.
Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez put Racing Point fourth and sixth, split by Monza winner Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri – which had a late trip across the grass and gravel.
Ferrari had one car in a promising position ahead of qualifying for the race partly named in its honour, with Charles Leclerc seventh, though team-mate Sebastian Vettel was only 18th with a time 0.7s slower.
There was also a big time gap between the Red Bulls – Alex Albon a second off Verstappen in 10th ahead of Daniil Kvyat and a strong run from Romain Grosjean.
George Russell’s Williams failed to set a time at all due to brake problems.
Practice 3 Results