Hamilton fastest in final Italian GP practice as Rosberg sits out

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Lewis Hamilton has finished fastest in the third and final free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza today.

The Briton posted a fastest lap of 1:25.519 to finish four-tenths of a second clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, as Nico Rosberg was unable to record a time in the sister Mercedes thanks to a gearbox problem.

The final session provided the drivers and teams with one final chance to make sure that all of their systems were running correctly ahead of qualifying later today, and this proved particularly crucial for Mercedes. Following Hamilton’s electrical problem during the second practice session on Friday, Rosberg came unstuck in this session and could complete just three laps thanks to a gearbox issue. The team has confirmed that it will be able to change the relevant parts without receiving a penalty.

Sergio Perez’s session also took a turn for the worse when his car stopped out on track at Curva Grande. He appeared to lose power coming out of the first chicane, and was forced to abandon his VJM07 at the side of the track.

In the early prime tire runs, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas led the way, so much so that they actually set exactly the same time at one point. Eventually, there was some daylight between them as the session, with Lewis Hamilton – who himself had suffered a DRS failure – leading ahead of the switch to option tires in the final few minutes.

Hamilton managed to find another two-tenths of a second at the top of the timesheets to extend his advantage over Alonso, and ultimately finished the session fastest of all. Felipe Massa was fourth for Williams, with Jenson Button rounding out the top five for McLaren.

With his teammate on the back foot, Hamilton may have the upper hand for qualifying later today. Be sure to join us for the session live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET.