FP3: Verstappen leads Leclerc and Perez in final Monza practice session – Formula 1

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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 teammate Sergio Perez to the top spot around the Monza circuit.

Verstappen posted a time of 1m 21.252s on soft tires to beat Leclerc by a margin of 0.347s – the Monegasque’s first run on the red-marked tire jeopardized by a mistake at the Variante della Roggia chicane – with Perez two-and-one. half a tenth further back.

READ MORE: 5 things we learned from Friday practice at the Italian Grand Prix

Verstappen was also the fastest driver during the mid-shoe races – his early benchmark keeping him in the mix with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz even after the Ferrari switched to softs.

It sets up an interesting qualifying session later this afternoon, with Verstappen, Sainz and a host of other drivers confirmed to take penalties for engine and gearbox component changes.

1


Max
Verstappen
VER
Red Bull Racing

1:21.252

2


Carlos
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

+0.347s

3


Sergio
Perez
by
Red Bull Racing

+0.596s

4


Carlos
Sainz
SAI
Ferrari

+0.645s

5


Fernando
Alonso
ALO
Alpine

+1.054s

Sainz was next in the other Ferrari – half a tenth away from Pérez – with Fernando Alonso the “best of the rest” for Alpine in fifth and in prime position to benefit from the various penalties.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was left at the sharp end in sixth, with Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton seventh and 10th respectively – sandwiching AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon’s Alpa (the latter entering the penalty list with an engine change).

READ MORE: Horner explains Red Bull engine penalties at Monza as Verstappen says he’s ‘not worried’ about Ferrari’s pace

Grid penalties for the 2022 Italian Grand Prix

driver EFFORT
Max Verstappen 5 places
Stephen Ocon 5 places
Sergio Perez 10 places
Mick Schumacher 15 places
Valtteri Bottas 15 places
Kevin Magnussen 15 places
Carlos Sainz Rear grill
Lewis Hamilton Rear grill
Yuki Tsunoda Rear grill

Zhou Guanyu led the Alfa Romeo charge in 11th position, five places and three-tenths faster than teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the other AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly 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 A Thai driver came in with appendicitis.

Fresh from his run in Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin during FP1, De Vries recovered from a trip through the gravel at Lesmo 1 to set the 14th fastest time, just under a tenth down on regular Williams driver Nicholas Latifi – both looking to secure place on the 2023 grid.

FP3 Highlights: Italian Grand Prix 2022

Daniel Ricciardo trailed teammate Lando Norris by half a second en route to 15th position, ahead of the aforementioned Bottas and Vettel, and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas (another to make power unit changes).

At the back, there were further problems for Mick Schumacher, who spent most of the session stuck in the garage due to a clutch issue striking when Haas set his car on fire – engine penalties also being upheld on his side of the garage.

READ MORE: Albon ruled out of Italian Grand Prix with appendicitis as replacement De Vries prepares to make F1 race debut

It came after the German completed just nine laps on Friday. Stepped aside for Antonio Giovinazzi in FP1, Schumacher’s FP2 session was derailed at the halfway mark due to a power unit-related stoppage.

Lance Stroll brought up the rear for Aston Martin, six tenths away from teammate Vettel and 2.5s off the pace set by Verstappen.

Qualifying for the 2022 Italian Grand Prix is started at 1600 local time. With the likes of Verstappen, Perez, Sainz and Hamilton taking penalties, who will start on pole at Monza?

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