Hamilton heads Vettel in third Italian GP practice

Lewis Hamilton continued his dominance of the Italian Grand Prix weekend by topping the timesheets in third practice on Saturday.

World champion Hamilton of Mercedes was fastest in both of Friday’s sessions and led the way again at Monza ahead of qualifying, where he will be the heavy favourite to take pole position for Sunday’s race.

However, Sebastian Vettel offered hope to the Ferrari fans by closing the gap on the Briton to take second, finishing the session just 0.264 seconds behind.

Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg was third, ahead of the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who both confirmed they will stay with the team for 2016 on Thursday.

The Lotus of Pastor Maldonado was sixth, with Kimi Raikkonen in seventh for Ferrari and Force India’s Sergio Perez, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean rounding off the top 10.

It was another difficult day for Red Bull, though, as Daniel Ricciardo endured more issues after both he and team-mate Daniil Kyvat were given grid drops on Friday. Ricciardo was given a penalty of 25 places while Kyvat was docked 15 spots.

Gearbox problems had affected both Red Bull cars in Friday’s second session and things got worse for Ricciardo in FP3 as he stopped out on track with due to an issue with his hydraulics before team prinicipal Christian Horner later confirmed the Australian’s engine had a “terminal” problem.

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:24.544
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:24.808
3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:24.843
4. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:24.946
5. Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:25.165
6. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:25.242
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:25.244
8. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.515
9. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 1:25.692
10. Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 1:25.747