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Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Nico Rosberg
3 Fernando Alonso

Prac Three: Hamilton pips Alonso

Saturday 8th September 2012

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Prac Three: Hamilton pips Alonso

Prac Three: Hamilton pips Alonso

Lewis Hamilton may take the advantage into qualifying at Monza but only just as he was a mere 0.001s up on Fernando Alonso in final practice.

With the track temperature already up to 33'C as the start, the final practice session for the Italian GP got underway with the drivers immediately heading out for their installation laps.

The first lap time was finally set 15 minutes into the session, belonging to Nico Hulkenberg who clocked a 1:30.583. That sparked the action with others following him out and getting down to business.

The Force India driver was easily overhauled by Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta, who will drop five places on the Monza grid after a gearbox change, before Kimi Raikkonen hit the front.

Lewis Hamilton was the next to lead the way with a 1:25.816 before he was dropped by Perez by three-tenths. The McLaren driver continued his run, retaking the P1 slot while his team-mate Jenson Button jumped to second, 0.068s off the pace.

Halfway through session Hamilton had extended his advantage to half a second over his team-mate while Pastor Maldonado was third ahead of Perez, Bruno Senna and Sebastian Vettel.

Fernando Alonso found some pace shortly after and climbed to second before taking first on his next lap with a 1:24.632. Alonso, though, was given a healthy tow down the straight by his team-mate, something Ferrari rivals will have taken note of.

The drivers swapped to the medium Pirellis for the final 20 minutes, although at first they struggled to improve their times. The final ten minutes, though, were a different story as several drivers upped their pace including Hamilton, who went quickest by 0.001s.

However, one driver who was not able to was Vettel. Down in 11th place, the Red Bull racer's woes were compounded when his RB8 suffered a sudden loss of power, forcing him to park it on the side of the track.

The session came to an end with Hamilton quickest ahead of Alonso and di Resta.

Times
01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:24.578 18 laps
02 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:24.579 0.001 15 laps
03 Paul di Resta Force India 1:24.849 0.271 20 laps
04 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:24.909 0.331 16 laps
05 Jenson Button McLaren 1:24.994 0.416 17 laps
06 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.036 0.458 22 laps
07 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:25.160 0.582 23 laps
08 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:25.255 0.677 19 laps
09 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:25.289 0.711 20 laps
10 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:25.383 0.805 18 laps
11 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:25.389 0.811 21 laps
12 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:25.406 0.828 17 laps
13 Bruno Senna Williams 1:25.461 0.883 21 laps
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:25.563 0.985 23 laps
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:25.689 1.111 22 laps
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:25.706 1.128 16 laps
17 Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus 1:25.973 1.395 20 laps
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:26.003 1.425 19 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:26.657 2.079 18 laps
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:27.267 2.689 16 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:27.454 2.876 20 laps
22 Timo Glock Marussia 1:27.728 3.150 19 laps
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:28.035 3.457 23 laps
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:28.384 3.806 17 laps

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