Hamilton completes practice clean sweep at Monza

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Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of practice sessions on Saturday morning at Monza by topping the timesheets in FP3 ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

After finishing quickest in FP1 and FP2 on Friday, Hamilton managed to lead the way once again in the final free practice session ahead of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight left the track damp for the beginning of the session, forcing the drivers to head out on the intermediate tire early on.

Conditions did improve towards the end of FP3, allowing the drivers to head out on the dry compound tires and give some signs of their one lap pace ahead of qualifying later today.

Due to the drying track and increasing levels of grip, the fastest times came at the very end of the session, and it was Mercedes who led the way once again.

Hamilton posted a fastest lap time of 1:24.544 late on to beat Vettel by two-tenths of a second. Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished narrowly behind in third place.

Williams enjoyed a solid final practice session on Saturday morning as Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Lotus also ran well thanks to the grunt of its Mercedes engines. Pastor Maldonado finished sixth overall thanks to a quick late lap, whilst teammate Romain Grosjean was P10. Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Marcus Ericsson split the Lotus drivers, filling out seventh to ninth.

It proved to be another difficult session for Red Bull as Daniel Ricciardo was forced to stop on track with a suspected gearbox problem. The Australian propped up the timesheets in 20th place whilst teammate Daniil Kvyat was also sidelined by a problem late on.

McLaren fared better than it had done on Friday, but still failed to bother the top ten. Fernando Alonso was P13 ahead of teammate Jenson Button, who was left lamenting an issue on his car that caused it to pull to the left under braking.

Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday.

Coyne signs Ferrucci for final two IndyCar races of 2018

Photo: IndyCar
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Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry at the Grand Prix of Portland and the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma for former Haas F1 test and reserve driver Santino Ferrucci, the team revealed earlier on Friday.

Ferrucci previously raced with Coyne at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, where he finished 22nd and 20th, and will drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi. The entry, the No. 39 Honda, will also feature sponsorship from Cly-Del, a Connecticut-based manufacturing company.

“I am extremely grateful to Dale (Coyne) and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing for giving me this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar in Portland and Sonoma,” said Ferrucci, who had been racing in FIA Formula 2 this year until it came to an unceremonious end in July.

Ferrucci continued, “I’m also excited to be bringing my long-time sponsor Cly-Del on board and introducing them to the world of IndyCar racing. I truly enjoyed my time with Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit earlier this season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back with them for a couple more races as I look to the future and enter the next chapter of my career.”

Team owner Dale Coyne highlighted the team’s experience with Ferrucci as a motivating factor in signing him up again for the final two races.

“We were very impressed with Santino at Detroit this year, and not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car,” said Coyne.

Coyne added, “We’ve had lengthy discussions with Santino in the past few months and we’re excited to have him back for the final two rounds of the season. We look forward to seeing what he will do with this opportunity as he gets back behind the wheel of an Indy Car. We’re also happy to welcome Cly-Del to our ever-growing family of sponsors.”

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