Lewis Hamilton has led a Mercedes one-two in the final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, with his teammate Nico Rosberg finished comfortably ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in third.

The Mercedes’ jumped to the top of the leader board still running the soft compound tyre, while the Ferrari drivers in third and fourth position posted set their best lap times on the theoretically quicker super soft compound.

Williams leapfrogged Red Bull Racing in the pecking order, as Valtteri Bottas finished three-tenths of a second behind Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari in fifth, while Bottas’ teammate Felipe Massa was just over one-tenth off his teammate’s pace in sixth.

Red Bull Racing joined Mercedes running similar tyre strategies for the final practice session, with both teams opting to run the softs first before attempting qualifying-style laps on the super softs, and then returning to the soft compound at the end of the session.

Ricciardo and Max Verstappen ended the session in seventh and eighth position respectively to continue a Noah’s Ark formation on the timesheets. The Force Indias of while Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg would have continued the theme, only to be split by the Haas Ferrari of Esteban Gutiérrez.

Pérez spent most of his session running the medium tyre as did his teammate Hülkenberg, with the pair evaluating the compound’s performance to possibly use the mediums during tomorrow’s race on a likely one-stop strategy.

McLaren’s Jenson Button only completed 11 laps in the session but registered a lap time good enough for twelfth position ahead of Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso Ferrari. Button’s teammate Fernando Alonso was further down the order in seventeenth position.

Romain Grosjean ended his session after just four laps by spinning his Haas off at the Ascari chicane and beaching it in the gravel, bringing out a brief Virtual Safety Car.

Renault lifted itself off the bottom of the timesheets, beating both Sauber and Manor Racing on pace with Jolyon Palmer going fifteenth-fastest to narrowly edge out Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

Qualifying starts at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).

Driver Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:22.008 14
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.393 17
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 0.938 13
4. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 1.141 12
5. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 1.492 20
6. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 1.639 19
7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 1.701 23
8. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 1.732 21
9. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 1.909 20
10. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.026 15
11. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 2.033 21
12. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.096 11
13. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 2.232 17
14. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.455 4
15. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 2.525 13
16. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.534 20
17. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.650 12
18. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.707 19
19. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 2.785 12
20. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 2.837 17
21. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 2.885 19
22. Esteban Ocon fr Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 2.930 15

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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