Bottas tops final Italian GP practice

Traffic was a massive issue in final practice for the Italian GP that saw Valtteri Bottas turn the fastest lap at 1m20.089s to beat the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr. by 0.229s.

The 2nd McLaren of Lando Norris was third quick 0.323s back ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault and the 2nd Mercedes or Lewis Hamilton rounding out the top-5 0.350s back. However, Hamilton’s lap was set without a tow.

Late in the session Ricciardo came to a stop on the track and brought out a red flag. “I have an issue,” says the Aussie, and he is parked out on track… as the red flags come out. He has managed to pull over near an escape road, but that is really bad news for Renault. The onboard replays certainly indicate some sort of power unit problem.

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, 2nd quick

Sebastian Vettel gave his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc the tow to put the Monegasque driver in sixth, three tenths up on Vettel’s time. And that is the perfect demonstration of how powerful the slipstream can be here.

So Mercedes look like favorites for pole, even without party modes. But who will make up the rest of the top 10? McLaren, Renault, AlphaTauri, Red Bull could all be in with a shout of the second row here.

Qualifying quite simply could be chaos, with everyone tripping over each other in a bid to gain that all-important tow. Mercedes look likely to head off into the distance, but as Hamilton’s near-miss at the end of the session showed, you can’t predict when and where the other cars will be.

Practice 3 Results

1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.089 +0.000s 14
2 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:20.318 +0.229s 14
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:20.412 +0.323s 15
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:20.419 +0.330s 9
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.439 +0.350s 11
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:20.456 +0.367s 15
7 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing Honda 1:20.563 +0.474s 15
8 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:20.693 +0.604s 13
9 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:20.804 +0.715s 14
10 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:20.897 +0.808s 13
11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:20.917 +0.828s 11
12 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1:20.936 +0.847s 14
13 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda 1:20.953 +0.864s 13
14 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:21.205 +1.116s 14
15 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.263 +1.174s 13
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:21.436 +1.347s 15
17 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:21.459 +1.370s 15
18 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:21.677 +1.588s 16
19 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:21.764 +1.675s 15
20 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:22.090 +2.001s 15