Lewis Hamilton bounces back from narrowly missing pole for the Sprint Race by setting the pace in final practice for Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen’s Italian Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the final practice session before the Italian GP
- The Brit was tenths away from Valtteri Bottas with Lewis Hamilton in third place
- Hamilton starts in Saturday’s Sprint Race behind his teammate Bottas
- Carlos Sainz was out of breath during the session after a serious crash in his Ferrari
- The Ferrari mechanics face a race against time to make sure his car is ready
Lewis Hamilton led the final practice before the Italian Grand Prix.
The world champion, who will start Saturday’s sprint race in Monza from second place, finished 0.222 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas will later be on pole position but is expected to step aside for Hamilton to maximize the Briton’s bid for an eighth world title.
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the final practice for Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen
Carlos Sainz had a bad crash and the mechanics are going to race against the clock to get his car ready
Max Verstappen, who qualified third, finished third, half a second lower than Hamilton, as the energy-hungry Temple of Speed played to Mercedes’ strengths.
Points are awarded to the top three finishers of the sprint event, while the final result also determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari crew will face a race against time to repair his machine after the Spaniard crashed out of final practice.
Bottas finished behind his teammate, but will start on pole for Saturday’s sprint race
Championship leader Max Verstappen finished half a second lower on Hamilton in third
Sainz lost control of his Ferrari by Ascari, hit the wall and suffered serious damage to the front of his car.
“I had a huge crash,” an excited Sainz reported over the radio. “That hurt a little, but I’m fine.”
Sainz was taken to the medical center before being cleared, while the action was interrupted for 13 minutes when the Ferrari driver’s car was towed away.
Sergio Perez finished fourth for Red Bull, six tenths behind, with Esteban Ocon fifth for Alpine and British driver Lando Norris 10th for McLaren.
The 18-lap sprint race starts at 3.30pm UK time.
Hamilton hopes to retake the championship at a track where his team looks strong