Red Bull driver Max Verstappen beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and team-mate Sergio Perez to take first place at the Monza circuit in Saturday’s third and final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix.
Verstappen clocked 1m 21.252 on the soft tires to beat Leclerc by a margin of 0.347 – Monegasque’s first race on red-marked tires after a mistake at the Variante della Roggia chicane – two-and-a-half-tenths behind Perez.
Read more: 5 things we learned from Friday practice at the Italian Grand Prix
Verstappen was also the fastest driver on the medium-shod runs – his first benchmark put him in the mix with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz even after Ferrari’s switch to softer.
This afternoon set up a spectacular qualifying session, with Verstappen, Sainz and several other drivers confirmed to take penalties for engine and gearbox body changes.
Red Bull Racing
Perez at p
Red Bull Racing
Sainz was next in the other Ferrari – half a tenth behind Perez – with Fernando Alonso ‘best of the rest’ in fifth for the Alpine and in prime position to benefit from various penalties.
McLaren’s Lando Norris finished sixth, with Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton seventh and 10th respectively – the Alpine Sandwich of Alphatouri’s Yuki Shunoda and Esteban Ocon (the latter joined the penalty list with an engine change).
Read more: Horner explains Red Bull engine penalties at Monza, says Verstappen ‘not worried’ about Ferrari pace
Grid penalties for the 2022 Italian Grand Prix
Driver penalty Max Verstappen 5th place Esteban Ocon 5th place Sergio Perez 10th place Mick Schumacher 15th place Valtteri Bottas 15th place Kevin Magnussen 15th place Carlos Sainz behind the grid Lewis Hamilton behind the grid Yuki Shunoda behind the grid
Zhou Guanyu led the Alfa Romeo in 11th place, five places and three tenths quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Pierre Gasly’s other Alfa Tauri was 12th.
At Williams, a late driver change saw Nick de Vries step into Alex Albon’s car for FP3 and the rest of the weekend – after the Thai driver went down with appendicitis.
Fresh from the race in Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin during FP1, De Vries recovered from a trip to Lesmo 1 in 14th fastest time on the gravel, with regular Williams driver Nicolas Laffey down in tenth – both looking to hold on to position. On the 2023 grid.
FP3 Highlights: 2022 Italian Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo trailed teammate Lando Norris by half a second to 15th, ahead of the aforementioned Bottas and Vettel and Kevin Magnussen Haas (to make another power unit change).
Behind, Mick Schumacher had further problems, spending most of the session stuck in the garage due to clutch problems as Haas fired up his car – engine penalties confirmed on the garage side.
Read more: Albon ruled out of Italian Grand Prix with appendicitis
It came after the German completed just nine laps on Friday. After being sidelined for Antonio Giovinazzi in FP1, Schumacher’s FP2 session was cut short at the halfway line due to a power unit-related stoppage.
Lance Stroll reared up for Aston Martin, sixth ahead of team-mate Vettel and 2.5s.
Qualifying for the 2022 Italian Grand Prix is set to begin at 1600 local time. Will Manza start on pole with the likes of Verstappen, Perez, Sainz and Hamilton facing penalties?