Formula 1 points leader Max Verstappen was over three tenths clear of Charles Leclerc in final practice at the Italian Grand Prix as the number of drivers taking grid penalties this weekend swelled to nine.
> Verstappen three tenths ahead of Leclerc
> De Vries gears up for his F1 debut
> Schumacher loses more time
Verstappen, who will have to take a five-place grid penalty on Sunday, led the third practice session of the weekend with a 1m21.252s, a benchmark that was 0.347s quicker than home favourite Ferrari team’s best lap recorded by Leclerc.
The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez has a 10-place grid penalty this weekend and he rounded out the top three in FP3, albeit 0.596s slower than team-mate Verstappen’s best effort.
Carlos Sainz, another driver with a penalty, was fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris, who were the second- and third-highest drivers without grid drops.
George Russell – Leclerc’s likely chief rival for pole position if Mercedes finds form – was seventh-fastest ahead of penalty-hit drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon, with the latter facing a five-place grid penalty as opposed to the back-of-the-grid penalty Tsunoda will have to serve.
The top 10 was rounded out by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who also has a back-of-the-grid penalty this weekend.
The other drivers with penalties are Haas duo Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen as well as Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.
Nyck de Vries missed the first half of FP3 but was able to begin his preparations for his first-ever F1 qualifying session as he stands in for the appendicitis-stricken Alex Albon at Williams.
The Formula E and Formula 2 champion was within a tenth of Williams regular Nicholas Latifi.
Schumacher also missed most of FP3 with a technical issue on a weekend where he had to sit out FP1 and lost half of FP2 when his Haas broke down.
Practice 3 Results
|Pos||Name||Car||Best Time||Gap Leader|
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m21.252s|
|3||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m21.848s||+0.596s|
|8||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||1m22.43s||+1.178s|
|11||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m22.657s||+1.405s|
|12||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||1m22.755s||+1.503s|
|14||Nyck de Vries||Williams-Mercedes||1m22.869s||+1.617s|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m22.95s||+1.698s|
|17||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m23.104s||+1.852s|
|20||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m23.739s||+2.487s|