Free Practice 3 of the Italian Grand Prix took place in Monza, and the day started with a big surprise: Nyck de Vries will drive for Williams F1 for the rest of the weekend, Alex Albon suffered appendicitis.
We learned during the session that Kevin Magnussen will officially be sent back to the back of the grid for changes to engine parts, while Esteban Ocon received a five-place penalty for a simple internal combustion engine change, like Mick Schumacher.
Several drivers will also be penalized this week, and Mercedes F1 has explained, through track engineering director Andrew Shovlin, why Lewis Hamilton will start from the back of the grid.
The engine was damaged during the contact of Fernando Alonso in Belgium which was not used, the Briton received a complete one, as explained by Shovlin: “In this power unit the water pressure was lost and he cut it, as you heard during the race. The engine is still at HPP and undergoing detailed checks there.”
“We have other issues with other elements in the pool that have not put them out of service, but have reduced our desire to use them. Obviously we are willing to do anything to avoid retirement because reliability is key . in our strengths.”
A study session on the very fast Monza circuit
Bottas set the first fastest lap of the session, but it was Sergio Pérez who set the first serious benchmark at 1’23″449, before improving to 1’22″148 on medium tyres. The other pilots did not get within two seconds of the Mexican.
Max Verstappen then led the session in 1’21″872, while Charles Leclerc put himself five tenths from his reference. An incident almost happened between Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas, while blocked by George Russell Verstappen.
Leclerc made it back to 0.072 from Verstappen, and then we saw Carlos Sainz establish himself in fourth place. Fernando Alonso took a provisional fifth place, just ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton.
Nyck de Vries went to the track for the first time. In Williams adorned with the number 45, the Dutchman did the first lap before making a small exit from the track. After that he completed a cross-country program on medium wheels.
Other drivers did the same thing in the middle of the session, before reviving the last quarter of an hour on soft rubber. Sainz took advantage of the opportunity to take second place 0.025 behind Verstappen.
Nicholas Latifi returns to the top 10, claiming the absolute best first sector of the weekend. Verstappen then beat the clock on the soft tyres, with a 1’21” 252. Leclerc also improved, three tenths behind the Dutchman.
Mick Schumacher came late to the track after suffering mechanical problems with his Haas VF-22, where his mechanics had to work for most of these PR3s. On the soft tyres, De Vries climbed back to within a tenth of Latifi, while Alonso regained his fifth place.
Leclerc noticed the problem with his F1-75 during these fast laps: “We have to do it for turn 6, it’s ok for others but the car won’t turn in turn 6”, said the Monegasque. With penalties from Verstappen, Pérez and Sainz, he is clearly acting as favorite for pole position.
So Verstappen finished ahead of Leclerc, Pérez, Sainz and Alonso. Norris was sixth ahead of Russell, Tsunoda, Ocon and Hamilton. Gasly was 12th and ahead of Williams who ended the group shooting.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:21.252||19|
|02||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:21.599||15|
|03||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:21.848||26|
|04||carlos sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:21.897||17|
|05||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:22.306||17|
|06||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:22.319||19|
|07||george russell||Mercedes W13||1:22.357||24|
|08||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:22.430||27|
|09||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:22.506||17|
|10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:22.567||22|
|11||Guanyu-Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:22.657||14|
|12||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:22.755||21|
|13||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:22.776||19|
|14||Nyck De Vries||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:22.869||21|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:22.871||19|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:22.950||26|
|17||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:23.104||20|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:23.203||17|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:23.392||8|
|20||Lance Walk||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:23.739||16|