Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel in FP3

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton finished quickest in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel his closest challenger at Monza

Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel in FP3

The reigning F1 world champion clocked a 1m24.544s on soft tyres to finish 0.264s clear of Vettel with the other Mercedes of Nico Rosberg three tenths off the pace in the third.

The track was damp from overnight rain early on, with only a few drivers choosing to venture out on intermediates.

But the sun broke through and the circuit dried quickly, with drivers switching to the medium tyres halfway through the session.

Vettel was the early pacesetter, clocking a succession of quick laps with a best of 1m25.799s, 1.3s ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Mercedes, meanwhile, kept its powder dry until the final 10 minutes of the session, when Rosberg went quickest with a 1m25.480s.

Hamilton's first effort was good enough for fifth and though he set the fastest first and second sectors, he chose to pit for soft tyres rather than complete the lap.

Attention then turned to qualifying-simulation soft-tyre runs, with Raikkonen going second quickest, 0.032s slower than Rosberg's medium-shod time.

Rosberg improved when he put the softs on, but he was then bumped down by Vettel and Hamilton in the final two minutes of the session.

Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Pastor Maldonado, who like Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean, didn't set a laptime until the final 10 minutes of the session.

Raikkonen ended up seventh with Force India's Sergio Perez, Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and Grosjean completing the top 10.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, who will start towards the back of the grid after taking new engines this weekend, were 13th and 14th respectively, ahead of Manor's Will Stevens.

Daniel Ricciardo parked his Red Bull at the second chicane midway though the session, suffering what is understood to be an engine failure on a brand new unit.

Ricciardo ended up 20th, with his team-mate Daniil Kvyat spending a large part of the session in the garage and finishing 17th.

FP3 RESULTS

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.544s 18
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.264s 12
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 0.299s 19
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 0.402s 14
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.621s 14
6 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 0.698s 11
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.700s 13
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 0.971s 14
9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1.148s 17
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1.203s 8
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1.368s 17
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1.597s 13
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 2.088s 9
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2.206s 14
15 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 3.579s 13
16 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 3.671s 25
17 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 4.047s 10
18 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 4.084s 23
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 4.573s 11
20 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 5.356s 7

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