Mercedes Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix, while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo brought out the red flags when he stopped at the side of track with a technical problem.
The session got off to a quiet start, with just the Alfa Romeo and Haas cars running early on. After installation laps for the quartet, and for Mclaren’s Lando Norris, there was then a lull until the 15-minute mark when Carlos Sainz began his morning’s work in the second McLaren.
That sparked the rest of the field into action and as Sainz started his first flyer a swarm of cars made their way to the pit exit.
The Mercedes drivers were quickly to the fore with Bottas trading session-best times. Bottas eventually established supremacy but then both Mercedes were eclipsed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who went quickest with a lap of 1:20.456.
Another lull then followed as the field returned to the pit lane to prepare for the qualifying simulations.
Bottas and Hamilton were the first to return to the track and Bottas went quickest again on soft tires. The Finn set the pace with a lap of 1:20.089 despite flirting with the new timing loops installed at Parabolica. A number of drivers again fell foul of the track limits delineation and had their times deleted during the session.
Hamilton was forced to give up on his first attempt after making a mistake in the first chicane but on his second attempt he couldn’t get close to Bottas and his best effort of 1:20.439 saw him end the session in fifth place.
Second place was then taken Norris, just 0.323s behind Bottas, while Ricciardo slotted into third before his on track issue.
The Renault driver was approaching the first Lesmo when he lost all drive and was forced to coast to the side of the track where his stoppage brought out the red flags. His team later revealed he had suffered a fuel pump failure.
The session resumed with a little less than four minutes on the clock and a frenetic end to the session ensued as drivers jockeyed for position at the end of the lap seeking space and a potential tow from the car ahead. The traffic meant that improvements were not marked, except in the case of Sainz who vaulted to P2 ahead of Norris and Ricciardo. Alex Albon, meanwhile, had his final time deleted for a track limits infringement and he ended up seventh behind Verstappen but ahead the second Renault of Esteban Ocon. Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 for Racing Point, while the Ferrari’s finished 11th and 15th for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
2020 FIA Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.089 14 260.395
2 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1:20.318 0.229 14 259.652
3 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:20.412 0.323 15 259.349
4 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:20.419 0.330 9 259.326
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.439 0.350 11 259.262
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:20.456 0.367 15 259.207
7 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1:20.563 0.474 15 258.863
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:20.693 0.604 13 258.446
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:20.804 0.715 14 258.091
10 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:20.897 0.808 13 257.794
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:20.917 0.828 11 257.730
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:20.936 0.847 14 257.670
13 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1:20.953 0.864 13 257.616
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:21.205 1.116 14 256.816
15 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.263 1.174 13 256.633
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:21.436 1.347 15 256.088
17 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:21.459 1.370 15 256.015
18 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:21.677 1.588 16 255.332
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:21.764 1.675 15 255.060
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:22.090 2.001 15 254.04