Someone other than Charles Leclerc headed the standings at the Italian Grand Prix, with the Monégasque driver’s teammate Sebastian Vettel keeping Ferrari in top spot in final practice.
The German finished just 0.032 seconds clear of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, with an ultra-close session seeing the top-fourteen drivers separated by less than a second.
Saturday’s final practice hit-out was delayed and then shortened by 10 minutes with urgent repairs carried out to the barriers at Parabolica after a frightening aerial accident in the preceding FIA Formula 3 Championship where a car became airborne after clipping the sausage kerbs at the outside of the fast right-hander.
The kerb in question was removed, with the FIA opting to enforce strict track limits rules for the rest of the weekend. Several drivers had their lap times deleted during the session after being found to have exceeded track limits exiting the corner onto the start/finish straight.
Neither Ferrari opted to venture out onto the Autodromo Nazionale Monza once pit lane opened. Vettel would make his first foray ten minutes into the session and went fastest on his first flying lap; he would lower the benchmark further after another 30 minutes to post a session-topping effort of 1:20.294.
Verstappen – who will start at the back of the grid with engine change penalties – showed strong pace to claim second-fastest, while behind the Dutchman came the Mercedes-AMG of Valtteri Bottas who gave the Brackley squad some encouragement by lapping just 0.109 seconds off Vettel. Friday pace-setter Leclerc posted an identical time to Bottas on his best lap.
Daniel Ricciardo continued to show excellent pace in the factory Renault, lapping fifth-fastest and barely a quarter of a second slower than Vettel. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton spent plenty of time on track as the team tried to fine-tune its race set-up, with the Briton lapping sixth-fastest.
Completing the top ten were Ricciardo and Verstappen’s respective teammates, Nico Hülkenberg and Alexander Albon, ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso).
|FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO HEINEKEN D’ITALIA 2019 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 3|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:20.294||14|
|2.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:20.326||+ 0.032||11|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:20.403||+ 0.109||23|
|4.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:20.403||+ 0.109||14|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:20.564||+ 0.270||11|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:20.595||+ 0.301||21|
|7.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:20.752||+ 0.458||13|
|8.||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:20.827||+ 0.533||17|
|9.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:20.881||+ 0.587||15|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:20.945||+ 0.651||20|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:20.949||+ 0.655||21|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:21.003||+ 0.709||15|
|13.||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:21.073||+ 0.779||22|
|14.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:21.292||+ 0.998||21|
|15.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:21.325||+ 1.031||19|
|16.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:21.336||+ 1.042||16|
|17.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:21.621||+ 1.327||16|
|18.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:21.639||+ 1.345||17|
|19.||George Russell||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:22.374||+ 2.080||22|
|20.||Robert Kubica||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:22.758||+ 2.464||21|
Image via Scuderia Ferrari