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Italian GP: Hamilton sets blistering pace in FP3

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Italian GP: Hamilton sets blistering pace in FP3
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Lewis Hamilton set a blistering pace ahead of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, the Briton topping the times in final practice.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid; Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Marshal
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H

Hamilton used Pirelli's supersofts to set a best time of 1:22.008 that put him nearly four tenths of a second ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, second fastest.

Mercedes, which has led all sessions with a 1-2 so far, appeared to be in a league apart once more.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third quickest, but almost a full second slower than Hamilton.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, 1.1 seconds off the pace, ahead of the two Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

The Red Bull team continued to lag behind the leading cars, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen winding up seventh and eighth over 1.7 seconds off the pace.

Mexicans Sergio Perez (Force India) and Esteban Gutierrez in the Haas completed the top 10.

As the fastest drivers took it easy at the start of the session, it was the Haas duo Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean who set the early pace.

But Grosjean's session came to an early finish when he lost the rear of his car 12 minutes into the session at the Variante Ascari, the Frenchman spinning into the gravel.

That triggered a Virtual Safety Car period while the Haas was recovered.

After that ended, the frontrunners jumped onto the track, Ricciardo moving to P1 ahead of teammate Verstappen, the Australian using supersofts while the Dutchman used the softs.

Hamilton and Rosberg - both on softs - moved to the top of the times right after that, the Briton posting a 1:22.856 as the German lost time behind a slow Verstappen, who appeared not to see his rival in the mirrors at the second chicane.

"What on Earth was that?" complained the Mercedes driver on the radio.

Vettel split the Mercedes duo, but fell nearly half a second short of Hamilton's best despite running on supersofts.

Raikkonen also used the softest rubber to move up to fourth, over six tenths off the pace.

At the back of the field, meanwhile, Esteban Ocon appeared to have more problems with his Manor after yesterday's stoppage, the Frenchman only completing an installation lap after the halfway point.

Verstappen moved up to sixth with a run on supersofts, but it was the Red Bull driver's time to get impeded, this time by Magnussen at Ascari.

With less than 20 minutes to go, Mercedes started to show its hand, first Rosberg going quickest with the best time of the weekend and seconds later Hamilton setting a blistering 1:22.008 that put him nearly four tenths ahead of his teammate and over 1.3 seconds in front of the Ferraris.

Vettel reduced the gap with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, but the German was still nearly a second off the pace despite running new supersofts.

The session came to an end with an incident from Renault's Jolyon Palmer, who went off at Parabolica.

Free practice 3 results

ClaDriverChassisEngineLapsTimeGapInterval
1  Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 14 1'22.008    
2  Nico Rosberg  Mercedes Mercedes 17 1'22.401 0.393 0.393
3  Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 13 1'22.946 0.938 0.545
4  Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 12 1'23.149 1.141 0.203
5  Valtteri Bottas  Williams Mercedes 20 1'23.500 1.492 0.351
6  Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 19 1'23.647 1.639 0.147
7  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 23 1'23.709 1.701 0.062
8  Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 21 1'23.740 1.732 0.031
9  Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 20 1'23.917 1.909 0.177
10  Esteban Gutierrez  Haas Ferrari 15 1'24.034 2.026 0.117
11  Nico Hulkenberg  Force India Mercedes 21 1'24.041 2.033 0.007
12  Jenson Button  McLaren Honda 11 1'24.104 2.096 0.063
13  Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso Ferrari 17 1'24.240 2.232 0.136
14  Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 4 1'24.463 2.455 0.223
15  Jolyon Palmer  Renault Renault 13 1'24.533 2.525 0.070
16  Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 20 1'24.542 2.534 0.009
17  Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda 12 1'24.658 2.650 0.116
18  Felipe Nasr  Sauber Ferrari 19 1'24.715 2.707 0.057
19  Kevin Magnussen  Renault Renault 12 1'24.793 2.785 0.078
20  Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso Ferrari 17 1'24.845 2.837 0.052
21  Pascal Wehrlein  Manor Mercedes 19 1'24.893 2.885 0.048
22  Esteban Ocon  Manor Mercedes 15 1'24.938 2.930 0.045
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Sub-event Saturday practice
Location Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Pablo Elizalde