Lewis Hamilton has completed an Italian Grand Prix clean sweep in Saturday’s final practice sessions at the Autodromo Monza, following his session-topping efforts in Friday’s first and second sessions.
The final one-hour practice session saw the track still damp after earlier rain showers, which ultimately created a rather mixed up timesheet and little indication as to a real form guide for Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.
Rather than leading another Mercedes 1-2 as was the case in Friday, the Silver Arrows were split by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who lapped just over a quarter of a second shy of Hamilton’s session-topping time of 1:24.544.
The start of the session saw few tentative wet tyre runs until the track surface had dried sufficiently to switch to dry-weather tyres. Hamilton moved to the top with a run on Pirelli’s Soft tyres, although the time was three-tenths slower than what he managed in Friday’s second practice session.
Rosberg slotted into third place, three-hundredths of a second behind Vettel, and ahead of the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.
Pastor Maldonado was sixth-fastest in the Lotus, bumping the second Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen down to seventh place.
Force India had a comparatively quieter session, with Sergio Pérez eighth-fastest and Nico Hülkenberg half-a-second further behind in twelfth place. The pair sandwiched the two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, along with the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean.
The two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were next up, although the latter struggled through the session with brake lock-ups.
Will Stevens took his Manor Marussia to the rather giddy heights of fifteenth in the mixed conditions, although he was flattered by slow times for the Toro Rosso and Red Bull runners, who didn’t bother attempting qualifying simulation runs given they will take hefty grid penalties into the race.
Max Verstappen, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr finished behind the Englishman, with his teammate Roberto Merhi finishing ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who brought up the rear of the field after stopping with a suspected engine problem.
Saturday’s qualifying session at Monza begins at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).
|Formula 1 Gran Premio D’Italia 2015 – Free Practice 3 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:24.544||18|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:24.808||+ 0.264||12|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:24.843||+ 0.299||19|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:24.946||+ 0.402||14|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:25.165||+ 0.621||14|
|6.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:25.242||+ 0.698||11|
|7.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:25.244||+ 0.700||13|
|8.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:25.515||+ 0.971||14|
|9.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:25.692||+ 1.148||17|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:25.747||+ 1.203||8|
|11.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:25.912||+ 1.368||17|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:26.141||+ 1.597||13|
|13.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:26.632||+ 2.088||9|
|14.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:26.750||+ 2.206||14|
|15.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:28.123||+ 3.579||13|
|16.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:28.215||+ 3.671||25|
|17.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:28.591||+ 4.047||10|
|18.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:28.628||+ 4.084||23|
|19.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:29.117||+ 4.573||11|
|20.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:29.900||+ 5.356||7|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team