Sainz back on top in final Italy practice
Carlos Sainz was faster than Max Verstappen in the final practice session of the Italian Grand Prix, setting up an exciting qualifying session in Monza. The practice hour was mostly calm, but things got intense in the final quarter with teams doing qualifying simulation laps. Verstappen initially took the top spot, but Sainz quickly surpassed him with a time of 1m 20.912s, beating him by only 0.086s. Lewis Hamilton was the next fastest, but he couldn’t understand why there was a 0.541-second gap to the front. Charles Leclerc had a difficult session, running wide and damaging his tires, leaving him in fourth place. Sergio Perez couldn’t even set a flying lap due to an oil leak in his Red Bull car. Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, and Alex Albon completed the top 10. Lance Stroll, who had limited track time, finished in 11th place. Liam Lawson narrowly beat his teammate Yuki Tsunoda for 12th. Oscar Piastri had a messy session and was involved in a collision with Sainz. Logan Sargeant, Valtteri Bottas, Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, Zhou Guanyu, and Pierre Gasly rounded out the rest of the field.