Sainz dominates Ferrari's final practice session, narrowly ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton
Posted : 02 September 2023
Ferrari continued their impressive performance at their home race in Monza, with Carlos Sainz topping the charts in the final practice session. He narrowly led Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as they prepared for the upcoming qualifying session.
In the morning session, Verstappen had initially set the pace with a time of 1m 21.687s on soft tires, leading Sergio Perez and Hamilton. As the track conditions improved, drivers began swapping tires, with Alex Albon moving up to second place on medium tires.
Carlos Sainz, however, stole the show with a blistering lap of 1m 20.912s on new soft tires, edging out Verstappen by just 0.086 seconds. Hamilton, who had briefly held the top spot, finished third, more than half a second behind Sainz. Charles Leclerc, the 2019 Italian GP winner, secured the fourth-fastest time despite using old soft tires.
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso claimed the fifth position, followed by George Russell. Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg had an impressive seventh and eighth for Haas, ahead of Albon, who set his fastest time on medium tires.
Sergio Perez encountered a power unit leak and couldn't complete a soft tire qualifying simulation, settling for the tenth fastest time. Lance Stroll, recovering from limited running on Friday, finished 11th for Aston Martin.
AlphaTauri's Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda secured the 12th and 13th positions, while Oscar Piastri finished 14th for McLaren. There was an incident involving Piastri and Sainz during the session, with replays suggesting Piastri was impeded by Sainz on a flying lap.
Williams' Logan Sargeant claimed 15th place, followed by Valtteri Bottas in his Alfa Romeo. McLaren's Lando Norris finished 17th, just ahead of Esteban Ocon in 18th place. Pierre Gasly from Alpine was at the back of the field, with Zhou Guanyu splitting the two Alpine drivers.
With the conclusion of the third practice session, the drivers will work with their teams to finalize their setups in preparation for qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix later today at 1600 local time.