Hamilton tops FP3 with Vettel closest behind

2015 Italian Grand Prix third practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2015Lewis Hamilton topped practice for the third consecutive session in Monza ahead of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion set the quickest time of the weekend from Friday with a 1’24.544, but it was the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel who was closest to the Mercedes driver, just over two tenths behind.

Overnight rain meant the Monza surface was still damp off-line as the cars ventured out for the first time in the morning on Intermediate tyres. With clear skies overhead, the on-track activity was limited for the first 30 minutes as the teams opted to wait for the track to dry out.

Fittingly, it was the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel who were first out on the track on dry tyres, with Vettel topping the times with a 1’25.799.

Despite already facing engine-related grid penalties for tomorrow, there were more problems for Red Bull when Daniel Ricciardo’s RB11 cruised to a stop at the Roggia chicane with just over 15 minutes remaining. Christian Horner confirmed after the session that the Australian had suffered a terminal engine failure.

The high braking demands of the Monza circuit saw a lot of drivers struggling to slow their cars for the track’s many chicanes with Rosberg, Carlos Sainz, Romain Grosjean and Roberto Merhi just some of the drivers who experienced significant lock ups.

The soft tyre runs in the final minutes saw Hamilton set the ultimate pace with a 1’24.544, with Vettel closest just over two tenths behind. Rosberg was less than a tenth off the Ferrari in third, followed by the two Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus sixth quickest.

Pos.No.DriverBest lapLaps
144Lewis Hamilton1’24.54418
25Sebastian Vettel1’24.80812
36Nico Rosberg1’24.84319
477Valtteri Bottas1’24.94614
519Felipe Massa1’25.16514
613Pastor Maldonado1’25.24211
77Kimi Raikkonen1’25.24413
811Sergio Perez1’25.51514
99Marcus Ericsson1’25.69217
108Romain Grosjean1’25.7478
1112Felipe Nasr1’25.91217
1227Nico Hulkenberg1’26.14113
1314Fernando Alonso1’26.6329
1422Jenson Button1’26.75014
1528Will Stevens1’28.12313
1633Max Verstappen1’28.21525
1726Daniil Kvyat1’28.59110
1855Carlos Sainz1’28.62823
1998Roberto Merhi1’29.11711
203Daniel Ricciardo1’29.9007

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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12 comments on “Hamilton tops FP3 with Vettel closest behind”

  1. Just caught FP3 on sky and noticed McLaren running the old longer nose spec , any info on why they are doing this ??

    1. Lower drag, better front end.

    2. Liam McShane (@)
      5th September 2015, 11:26

      It produces less drag than the shorter nose.

    3. Less drag, just like ferrari were running the old sidepods

    4. Longer nose was required by Geppetto as McLaren Honda has been caught lying about progress made so far!

      1. ;-) Genius ColdFly F1

  2. Only two day’s ago Remi Traffin stated on Autosport: “Reliability problems are behind us now”. And now a brand new engine has broken down within hours of use. Also Motorsport.com reports the new PU is delayed and won’t be available until Austin. Absolutely pathetic.

    1. @@me4me Even better, according to Autosport, the upgraded engine is expected to produce – wait for it – another 6 to 7 hp.

      Red Bull should definitely stick with Renault for another year.

      1. Hard to understand how Renault were equal or better than Ferrari but now way behind a breaking. Same for Honda I can understand less performance but not engines breaking as last year Ferrari and Renault were also in 1st year but were more reliable than Honda. Had Ferrari made a few mistakes last year but knew how to fix but could not change anything due to the rules which basically cost the fans watching a better competition.

        Engine limit for cost savings but Renault and Honda are using more engines than v8 era due to how complex they are and restrictions on improving so basically costs more and the fans have to see world class drivers at the back. In reality the engine restrictions are costing more money and ruining the show for the fans.

        1. the engines have proved more costly, they sound worse, they have made the sport harder to watch as only one team wins, the last part – this has happened before, yes, but in those other dominant eras the other teams had a fairer chance at catching up. without testing, the engine manufacturers are spending more money to try to make small gains within a stupidly narrow limit of development. the only people enjoying these knew engines are Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and their fans. I don’t even bother watching qualifying anymore, it is too predictable and boring.

        2. mark p, neither of the affected teams are being hit financially given that they are not paying for the engines in the first place – the cost is being borne by their engine suppliers.

          Thanks to the fact that Honda is putting money into the team and supplying free engines, McLaren are actually financially better off than in 2014 (when they had to pay Mercedes for their engines) – they even commented in their financial accounts for 2014 that they were expecting their financial performance to increase for 2015 because they were partnering with Honda.

          As for Red Bull, they have been receiving free engines for an extended period of time in return for the Infiniti branding – Renault had already commented how, under the V8 regulations, they were effectively writing off $60 million a year as a result of the engine cost caps and having to underwrite the cost of Red Bull’s engines.

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