Italian GP | Hamilton flys in FP3 to break clear of the field

Lewis Hamilton sets the pace at the Italian Grand Prix in FP3.

Hamilton sets flying laps to break clear of the field in final free practice. Nico Rosberg had created a buffer of his own with the fastest lap of the weekend so far, but Lewis rocketed four-tenths clear.

When the final free practice session was in its infant stages, Romain Grosjean set the pace and put his Haas atop the leaderboard. But Romain’s hour would only last 12 minutes as he lost control through the Ascari chicane, bedding into the gravel trap and activating a Virtual Safety Car for it to be recovered.

Once clear, the front runners returned to Monza with Red Bull now setting the pace through Ricciardo. Daniel’s time on the supersofts enough to demote Verstappen on the softs, as Max garnered the attention of Rosberg.

Going into the weekend, Ferrari’s frustrations were still boiling over from Belgium – where Verstappen’s aggressive driving caused multiple on-track incidents with Raikkonen.

Now in FP3, Verstappen opted for a slow line through the second chicane as Rosberg approached. Leading to Nico to complain over the radio; “What on Earth was that?”

The Mercedes duo had already moved ahead of the ‘Bulls on the timesheet, with Hamilton edging Rosberg thanks to a 1:22.856. But the time lost behind Verstappen cost Rosberg second place, with Vettel slotting into second.

Supersoft tyres later into the session, however, handed the top two slots back to Mercedes – with Rosberg going top after the best lap of the weekend so far. Hamilton’s reply, though, shot the Birton into P1 by four-tenths of a second and over a second up on Vettel.

The Ferrari’s reply to Hamilton’s pace showed qualifying should be a two-horse fight for pole. With Vettel only just able to break within a second of Hamilton’s pace.

Red Bull ended the hour a further seven-tenths back in seventh and eighth, with Williams snatching fifth and sixth.

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton 14 1’22.008
2 Nico Rosberg 17 1’22.401 0.393
3 Sebastian Vettel 13 1’22.946 0.938
4 Kimi Raikkonen 12 1’23.149 1.141
5 Valtteri Bottas 20 1’23.500 1.492
6 Felipe Massa 19 1’23.647 1.639
7 Daniel Ricciardo 23 1’23.709 1.701
8 Max Verstappen 21 1’23.740 1.732
9 Sergio Perez 20 1’23.917 1.909
10 Esteban Gutierrez 15 1’24.034 2.026
11 Nico Hulkenberg 21 1’24.041 2.033
12 Jenson Button 11 1’24.104 2.096
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. 17 1’24.240 2.232
14 Romain Grosjean 4 1’24.463 2.455
15 Jolyon Palmer 13 1’24.533 2.525
16 Marcus Ericsson 20 1’24.542 2.534
17 Fernando Alonso 12 1’24.658 2.65
18 Felipe Nasr 19 1’24.715 2.707
19 Kevin Magnussen 12 1’24.793 2.785
20 Daniil Kvyat 17 1’24.845 2.837
21 Pascal Wehrlein 19 1’24.893 2.885
22 Esteban Ocon 15 1’24.938 2.93