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F1 – Verstappen beats Leclerc to top spot in FP3 as de Vries steps in for Albon at Williams 

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FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen beat Charles Leclerc to top spot in the final practice session for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix, as Nyck de Vries replaced Alex Albon at Williams for the remainder of the weekend due to illness.

Before the start of the session Williams revealed that Albon was suffering with appendicitis and that reserve driver de Vries would take over at the wheel of Albon’s FW44. 

The Dutch driver, who appeared in FP1 with Aston Martin yesterday, joined the FP3 action midway through the session and ended up 14th fastest, just under a tenth of a second behind 13th-plaqced team-mate Nicholas Latifi. 

In the early part of the session, Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez led the way with the Mexican driver setting the pace at 1:22.148, before Verstappen jumped to the top of the order. The Dutchman had been forced to abandon his first run after encountering traffic but his second attempt was clean and he took top spot with a lap of 1:21.872 set on medium tyres. Leclerc took second place but there was early trouble for his team-mate, Carlos Sainz, with the Spaniard spending time in the garage due to a suspected fuel system issue on his car. 

Sainz returned to the action for the final third of the session and he moved up to second on soft rubber with 15 minutes remaining. 

Verstappen had also moved to the red-banded Pirelli tyres and the Dutchman extended his lead at the top of the order with a lap of 1:21.252. Leclerc managed to hold second place, though the Ferrari driver ended the session 0.347s off the championship leader. 

Pérez finished third, almost six tenths of a second behind his team-mate, while Sainz’s flying lap left him fourth ahead of the Alpine of Fernando Alonso who finished over a second behind Verstappen. 

McLaren's Lando Norris ended the session in sixth place, with Russell seventh for Mercedes ahead of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine's Esteban Ocon. Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top 10 in the other Mercedes ahead of Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu, the other AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly and the Williams duo of Nicholas Latifi and de Vries.

2022 FIA Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.252 19 256.668
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:21.599 0.347 15 255.576
3 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:21.848 0.596 26 254.799
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:21.897 0.645 17 254.646
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:22.306 1.054 17 253.381
6 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:22.319 1.067 19 253.341
7 George Russell Mercedes 1:22.357 1.105 24 253.224
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:22.430 1.178 27 253.000
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:22.506 1.254 17 252.767
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.567 1.315 22 252.580
11 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:22.657 1.405 14 252.305
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:22.755 1.503 21 252.006
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:22.776 1.524 19 251.942
14 Nyck de Vries Williams/Mercedes 1:22.869 1.617 21 251.659
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:22.871 1.619 19 251.653
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:22.950 1.698 26 251.414
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:23.104 1.852 20 250.948
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:23.203 1.951 17 250.649
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:23.392 2.140 8 250.081
20 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:23.739 2.487 16 249.045