Italian GP: Max Verstappen pulls clear in Practice 3

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Max Verstappen vaulted clear of the field in final practice at the Italian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion upped the pace from Friday, setting a 1m21.252s in the Red Bull as teams focused on single-lap pace.

It wasn't a completely drama-free session for Verstappen, who had traffic issues on several laps including an encounter with George Russell early on.

But despite a five-place grid penalty for a new ICE, the Dutchman appears more than capable of coming through for victory.


Only Charles Leclerc stayed somewhat in touch with Verstappen, finishing three-tenths behind in second for Ferrari.

His best time also came on the second flying lap having gone deep into the Roggia chicane on his initial attempt. 

But with penalties for all his closest competitors, the Monegasque only needs a clean qualifying to secure pole position at Monza.

Sergio Perez improved to third in the second Red Bull, albeit six-tenths behind Verstappen. The Mexican still finishing half a tenth up on Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari in fourth.

The battle for between Alpine and McLaren heated up with just 0.012s between former teammates Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris in fifth and sixth.

Alonso ItaGP Practice

Less than a second covered the Spaniard all the way down to Kevin Magnussen in 18th, highlighting how close it is behind the top two teams.

George Russell the lead Mercedes in seventh, just ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in eighth, while Esteban Ocon was among three more drivers added to the list of penalty takers in ninth.

Lewis Hamilton completed the top 10.

Further down, Nyck de Vries was drafted in at Williams after Alex Albon was sent to hospital with appendicitis.

Despite limited running and an early slide into the gravel, the Dutch driver impressed finishing less than a tenth behind Nicholas Latifi in 14th.

De Vries FP3 ItaGP

Daniel Ricciardo was 16th, ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who had a close call with a slow-moving Sainz entering the first chicane during FP3.

Aston Martin's poor weekend continued as Sebastian Vettel was 17th and Lance Stroll slowest.

In between sat the two Haas' of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, the latter only managing eight laps after a clutch issue saw him leave the pits in the final 10 minutes.

Full results from Practice 3 can be seen below: