Vettel edges Hamilton by less than a tenth in final practice

2018 Italian Grand Prix third practice

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Final practice for the Italian Grand Prix raised expectations of an exciting qualifying session as Sebastian Vettel led championship rival Lewis Hamilton by less than a tenth of a second.

Vettel gave the Ferrari fans at Monza plenty to cheer about when he set the quickest lap time of the weekend so far with a best effort of 1’20.509. Last year’s pole sitter Hamilton went just 0.081s slower and was visibly pushing, skimming the gravel at the exit of the Variante della Roggia chicane.

Kimi Raikkonen backed Vettel up in third place but Valtteri Bottas was a distant fourth in his Mercedes. Max Verstappen, who has been pessimistic about Red Bull’s chances at the power circuit, got within nine-tenths of a second of Vettel.

It was similarly close between Ferrari and Mercedes’ customer teams. Kevin Magnussen headed the midfield charge with a best of 1’22.011 in his Haas, four-hundredths of a second ahead of Esteban Ocon’s Force India-Mercedes. They bumped Daniel Ricciardo down to eighth.

An unhappy Romain Grosjean, who complained about being held up by Brendon Hartley and only completed one clean lap, took 10th place behind Charles Leclerc. Marcus Ericsson was back in action in the other Sauber but faces a 10-place grid penalty as the team had to change the engine in his car following yesterday’s violent crash. He set the 16th-fastest time.

The session began on a largely dry track with some damp patches. Conditions improved throughout the hour of running. McLaren were among the first to take to the track but the Renault-powered team were out-paced by their nine rivals.

Among the two cars which finished behind the McLarens was the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg. He had to pit during the session when his DRS jammed open, not unlike the fault which caused Ericsson’s crash yesterday.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’20.50918
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’20.5900.08114
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’20.6820.17316
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’21.1120.60318
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’21.3880.87915
620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’22.0111.50215
731Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’22.0551.54616
83Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’22.3101.80115
916Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’22.3131.80417
108Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’22.3571.84816
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’22.4861.97713
1210Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’22.6312.12220
1355Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’22.7372.22815
1435Sergey SirotkinWilliams-Mercedes1’22.7782.26920
1518Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’22.8602.35119
169Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’22.8822.37325
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’22.8922.38323
182Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’22.9872.47816
1927Nico HulkenbergRenault1’23.1492.64010
2028Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’23.1642.65519

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Third practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’20.509

+0.081 Lewis Hamilton – 1’20.590

+0.173 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’20.682

+0.603 Valtteri Bottas – 1’21.112

+0.879 Max Verstappen – 1’21.388

+1.502 Kevin Magnussen – 1’22.011

+1.546 Esteban Ocon – 1’22.055

+1.801 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’22.310

+1.804 Charles Leclerc – 1’22.313

+1.848 Romain Grosjean – 1’22.357

+1.977 Sergio Perez – 1’22.486

+2.122 Pierre Gasly – 1’22.631

+2.228 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’22.737

+2.269 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’22.778

+2.351 Lance Stroll – 1’22.860

+2.373 Marcus Ericsson – 1’22.882

+2.383 Fernando Alonso – 1’22.892

+2.478 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’22.987

+2.640 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’23.149

+2.655 Brendon Hartley – 1’23.164

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1’37.8671’21.1051’20.509-0.59649
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’36.5461’21.3921’20.590-0.80251
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’34.5501’21.3751’20.682-0.69375
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’36.2381’21.8031’21.112-0.69161
5Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’35.6651’22.1541’21.388-0.76653
6Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’37.0661’23.2331’22.011-1.22256
7Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’34.5931’22.9301’22.055-0.87563
8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’35.2071’22.2961’22.310+0.01456
9Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’36.6481’22.9651’22.313-0.65247
10Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’37.6831’23.0771’22.357-0.7260
11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’34.0001’22.9421’22.486-0.45663
12Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’35.4381’23.4021’22.631-0.77173
13Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’35.9951’23.1931’22.737-0.45662
14Sergey SirotkinWilliams-Mercedes1’37.9291’23.5141’22.778-0.73658
15Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’38.2531’23.5661’22.860-0.70656
16Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’37.7901’22.882-14.90838
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’37.4261’23.7411’22.892-0.84960
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’24.0841’22.987-1.09746
19Nico HulkenbergRenault1’36.1071’23.0631’23.149+0.08655
20Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’35.0241’23.5311’23.164-0.36752
21Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’38.2829

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Vettel edges Hamilton by less than a tenth in final practice”

  1. The second time DRS has got stuck open on Hulkenberg’s car (with the Japanese GP last season being the first example of that.)

  2. And this free practice both RBR used the spec C.

    Let’s hope it brings some extra speed.

  3. I’m extremely impressed to see Ericsson within half a second despite FP1 raining away and his crash in FP2.

  4. They need to introduce a fine or penalty for DRS failure similar to releasing cars from the pit lane without the wheels on properly.

    Obviously with an exception for cars that have suffered a collision, but they’re clearly pushing the limits of the DRS engineering either for weight or speed of operation and these failures are happening too often.

Comments are closed.