• Italian GP - FP3

Hamilton tops FP3 as Rosberg hits trouble

Laurence Edmondson at Monza
September 6, 2014
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Lewis Hamilton returned to the top of the times in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix as his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg suffered a gearbox issue.

Hamilton's best time of 1:25.519 was 0.412s clear of his nearest competitor, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Rosberg's session was over after just 15 minutes and three laps as the team reported an issue with his gearbox. If the problem requires a gearbox change before qualifying it will result in a five-place grid drop for the German on Sunday's grid.

Alonso's time helped cement the promise Ferrari showed on Friday, although his time was slightly overshadowed by Luca di Montezemolo's appearance on the pit wall. The Ferrari president, whose future has been the subject of much speculation this weekend, climbed on the pit wall at the end of the session to wave and pump his fists at the spattering of Tifosi in the main grandstand. At one stage Alonso returned to the pits to find his garage door swamped with photographers and TV cameramen and continued back out for another lap.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa as Williams appeared to show its true pace for the first time this weekend. Jenson Button set the fastest first sector of all in the McLaren but was unable to follow it up with matching second and third sectors, leaving him fifth overall.

Sebastian Vettel continued to be the highest-placed Renault-powered driver with the sixth fastest time ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Daniil Kvyat showed promise in eighth place, but will receive a ten-place grid penalty from wherever he qualifies after Toro Rosso fitted the sixth engine of his season to the car, exceeding the limit of five.

Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten ahead of Kevin Magnussen's McLaren, which appeared to be loose at the rear on his final attempts at a hot lap. Sergio Perez was 13th fastest but only completed 10 laps before his Force India ground to a halt coming out of the first chicane.

Lotus' miserable weekend continues as they appear to have fallen into the back-marker battle between Caterham and Marussia.

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