Max Verstappen was fastest as the usual suspects dominated the top of the standings in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The World Champion was 0.347sec faster than Charles Leclerc to set himself up as favourite to also clock the quickest time in qualifying.
But Verstappen knows he will not be on pole position because he is taking a five-place grid penalty for using a fifth Internal Combustion Engine of the season – among eight, and potentially nine, drivers facing sanctions due to exceeding the permitted number of power-unit parts for the campaign.
Leclerc is now likely to start on pole if he can reproduce his practice performance in qualifying, with four of the six Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes driver all facing penalties.
That will boost the hopes of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Lando Norris, both of whom have shone in practice at the ‘Temple of Speed’.
Shortly before the FP3 session began, Williams announced Alex Albon had been taken to hospital with appendicitis and would be replaced for the rest of the weekend by Nyck de Vries, making his F1 race debut.
De Vries had taken part in FP1 for Aston Martin the previous day, but is the official reserve driver for Williams.
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) September 10, 2022
The Dutchman put in a strong FP3 performance, finishing immediately behind Nicholas Latifi in the other FW44 in the standings with less than a tenth of a second between them.
Mick Schumacher endured a troubled FP3 session due to problems with his Haas car which meant he could only take to the track towards the end of the hour’s running.
There were also strong reports that Schumacher could increase the number of drivers incurring penalties to nine – the others confirmed being his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas and Yuki Tsunoda.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.252
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.347
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.596
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.645
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine +1.054
6 Lando Norris McLaren +1.067
7 George Russell Mercedes +1.105
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1.178
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine +1.254
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.315
11 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +1.405
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1.503
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams +1.524
14 Nyck de Vries Williams +1.617
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1.619
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1.698
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +1.852
18 Mick Schumacher Haas +2.140
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas +2.188
20 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +2.487