Monza, FP3: Bottas tops final practice in Italy

Ahead of Sainz and Norris


By Olivier Ferret

5 September 2020 - 13:05
Monza, FP3: Bottas tops final (...)

Mercedes Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix, while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo brought out the red flags when he stopped at the side of track with a technical problem.

The session got off to a quiet start, with just the Alfa Romeo and Haas cars running early on. After installation laps for the quartet, and for Mclaren’s Lando Norris, there was then a lull until the 15-minute mark when Carlos Sainz began his morning’s work in the second McLaren.

That sparked the rest of the field into action and as Sainz started his first flyer a swarm of cars made their way to the pit exit.

The Mercedes drivers were quickly to the fore with Bottas trading session-best times. Bottas eventually established supremacy but then both Mercedes were eclipsed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who went quickest with a lap of 1:20.456.

Another lull then followed as the field returned to the pit lane to prepare for the qualifying simulations.

Bottas and Hamilton were the first to return to the track and Bottas went quickest again on soft tyres. The Finn set the pace with a lap of 1:20.089 despite flirting with the new timing loops installed at Parabolica. A number of drivers again fell foul of the track limits delineation and had their times deleted during the session.

Hamilton was forced to give up on his first attempt after making a mistake in the first chicane but on his second attempt he couldn’t get close to Bottas and his best effort of 1:20.439 saw him end the session in fifth place.

Second place was then taken Norris, just 0.323s behind Bottas, while Ricciardo slotted into third before his on track issue.

The Renault driver was approaching the first Lesmo when he lost all drive and was forced to coast to the side of the track where his stoppage brought out the red flags. His team later revealed he had suffered a fuel pump failure.

The session resumed with a little less than four minutes on the clock and a frenetic end to the seesion ensued as drivers jockeyed for position at the end of the lap seeking space and a potential tow from the car ahead. The traffic meant that improvements were not marked, except in the case of Sainz who vaulted to P2 ahead of Norris and Ricciardo. Alex Albon, meanwhile, had his final time deleted for a track limits infringement and he ended up seventh behind Verstappen but ahead the second Renault of Esteban Ocon.Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 for Racing Point, while the Ferrari’s finished 11th and 15th for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.

01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:20.089 14
02 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:20.318 14
03 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:20.412 15
04 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:20.419 9
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 1:20.439 11
06 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:20.456 15
07 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:20.563 15
08 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:20.693 13
09 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:20.804 14
11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:20.897 13
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:20.917 11
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:20.936 14
13 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:20.953 13
14 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:21.205 14
15 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 1:21.263 13
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:21.436 15
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:21.459 15
18 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 1:21.677 16
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 1:21.764 15
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:22.090 15

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