F1 Italian Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Hamilton fifth in practice 3, Norris impresses, Bottas second – latest updates

LEWIS HAMILTON was fifth fastest in final practice 3 with qualifying up next today.

The Brit star is targeting a sixth race win of the season as he continues his bid for another F1 drivers' championship title.

Follow for all the latest ahead of the race in Monza below…

  • CLOSE SHAVE FOR HAMILTON

    The queue of cars cause the Mercedes make to take evasive action to prevent a crash at the end of the session.

    Bottas tops the lot ahead of Sainz and then Norris.

    Ricciardo in fourth but has his engine problem now to worry about while Hamilton was *only* fifth quickest.

  • SESSIONS HAS RESTARTED

    Ricciardo's Renault is recovered so the session is restarted by with just three minutes to go.

  • RED FLAG

    The session is stopped as Daniel Ricciardo's Renault breaks down.

    See, I still don't know why Renault are so confident.

  • FINAL 10 MINUTES

    Lap times are tumbling as team's prepare for qualifying. Plenty of low fuel runs right now withNorris and Ricciardo popping into the top the three.

  • MEANWHILE ON TRACK

    It is a Mercedes one-two as Hamilton edges Bottas by 0.116 seconds while Renault's Esteban Ocon is in third but using the slower medium tyre.

    AlphaTauri again looking strong as too the Racing Points. Less so McLaren and definitely not, Ferrari.

  • INTERESTING FROM TOTO WOLFF YESTERDAY…

    The Mercedes boss says he can understand why F1 fans find his team's domination of the sport dreary.

    However, he says it is up to F1 bosses to come up with a way of livening up the actions without taking away the performance from his team's racecars.

    He said: “Of course you need to define what Formula One stands for and in my opinion it's very much the majority of the DNA is the sport and sport works on meritocracy.

    “But the sport has also to deliver entertainment and in that respect, obviously if Usain Bolt wins every single race and Bayern Munich wins every single championship, it can come to a point that the result becomes very predictable and less variable and this is something that the fans cheer for.

    “It's always the underdog who is always the point of interest; everybody wants to see the underdog perform and we are very well aware of that dynamic.

    “Therefore, we are coming up with suggestions that must not necessarily impact our own performance but we can use the current resource to make it more exciting.”

  • HOORAY….CARS ON TRACK

    After a 20 minute lull, the cars are now heading out on track. It honestly is very ridiculous that they all go out together.

    There will be traffic now for some, causing slower lap times and higher tyre wear.

    It makes no sense to me, but hey, they have decided that's what they want to do.

  • RENAULT'S CONFUSING CONFIDENCE

    It is difficult to know just why Cyril Abiteboul, the Renault boss, is strutting about the F1 paddock like a hero.

    Picking on Red Bull (again) makes no sense and the team still have ZERO podiums since returning to F1 in 2016.

    Contrast that to Red Bull's successes and it is a no-brainer who is currently the better team.

    Maybe he knows something is going to change? They have Fernando Alonso joining next season and that has both the potential to advance the team.

    Yet there is also the distinct possibility of unsettling it. We will see how it all turns out, but for the meantime, Abiteboul is talking the talk.

  • HORNER HITS BACK AT ABITEBOUL

    Meanwhile, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has hit back at Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul. Renault are remarkably confident, despite no podium since returning to F1 in 2016.

    And yesterday, Abiteboul taunted Red Bull by saying they had “missed a trick” by not being fully integrated with its engine supplier. In contrast to works teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, Red Bull buy engines and currently use Honda.

    Abiteboul said: “You can't have a chassis organisation and an engine organisation that are so distinct. You can't think of that, if you want to fight for wins in a consistent manner.”

    But Horner hit back saying: “I watched his comments and it was quite interesting. “I would say that we are as integrated with Honda as you would be. It's a proper partnership, and more integrated than we ever were with Renault.

    “We won four world championships and sixty-odd races paying for our engines from Renault.

    “So I would certainly counter that, in that the relationship with Honda is a partnership as opposed to a customer supplier relationship.”

  • UNDERFIRE FERRARI BOSS GIVEN CEO'S BACKING

    MATTIA BINOTTO has been given a vote of confidence from Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri.

    Binotto is under intense pressure to halt the Italian team's slump as they endured their worst result in a decade last out in the Belgian GP.

    Both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have blasted their car's performance and they looked nailed on for another poor weekend in the team's home GP in Monza.

    While Binotto has admitted he questioned his own ability to run the team, he has received the full backing from Camilleri, who wants stability.

    He said: “I have every confidence in Mattia Binotto and his team. The results aren't there to prove what I'm saying, but these things take time.

    “Regretfully in the past, there has been too much pressure and a history of people being let go. There was somewhat of a revolving-door atmosphere, and I'm putting a stop to that.

    “What we need is stability and focus. If you look at Red Bull's period of winning championships, Mercedes today, other than talent, one of the key things they had was stability, and that's something frankly our team has been lacking.

    “If I look back at the caliber of Jean Todt, Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and all those guys, it took them six years to get to what they ultimately became — this phenomenal winning team.

    “So I want to ensure that stability remains in place, despite the unbelievable pressure there is on the team, particularly from the Italian media, who are quite brutal at times, calling for heads to roll, but that's not the solution.

    “This doesn't mean, however, that we won't consider injecting additional skills and resources into the existing team.”

  • MERCEDES SPENT £333M TO WIN THE TITLE LAST YEAR

    LEWIS HAMILTON's Mercedes team spent £333million to win the 2019 world title.

    New figures released show that the Silver Arrows must now slash their spending as part of F1's cost-cap next season.

    The new rules mean that all F1 team's have a budget of £108million to run their teams – excluding driver and management salaries, plus marketing activities.

    That means Merc must divvy up their spending over their Brackley HQ despite an increase in profits.

    The team achieved its highest ever income last year of £363.6million thanks to healthy sponsorship deals.

    And profits rose slightly from £12.7million in 2018 to £14.7million in 2019, while the staff headcount also increased from 968 in 2018 to 1,016 in 2019.

  • GO GO GO…

    Final practice ahead of qualifying is underway here in Monza.

    A few early installation laps.

  • 30 MINS TO GO

    We are just half an hour away from the third and final practice session at Monza.

    Who will lay down the quickest marker ahead of this afternoon's qualifying?

    Stay tuned to find out…

  • GOOD MORNING, RACE FANS

    It’s qualy day in North-East Italy as we get to find out which of the two Mercedes will take pole position for the Italian GP.

    Of course, things might not go to plan for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas – but they sure look likely to.

    Bottas topped the FP1 timing sheet yesterday in a Merc 1-2.

    The order was reversed with Hamilton leading FP2, almost a second ahead of Lando Norris in third.

    Pierre Gasly took fourth in the classification on a strong day for Alpha Tauri, with Max Verstappen fifth after a crash in FP1.

    Sebastian Vettel had a typically rough day and was back in 19th in FP1, behind Williams test rookie Roy Nissany.

    The German notched 12th in the afternoon, over 1.5 seconds off the lead.

    However, Monza’s notorious power-hungry demands could shake things up today.

    With the need for clean air huge, backing up ahead of the Paribolica is a potentially huge issue.

    Hamilton stated yesterday: “It was difficult in the past, and obviously we didn't even get to do the last lap last year.

    “It's going to be interesting – I heard they might put in a minimum time that we have to do an out lap, maybe that will help.

    “That is still going to be a nightmare.”

    Verstappen added: “I think everybody will go for the tow again. It's getting more and more powerful every single year because of the increased downforce on the cars.

    “So you will see in Q3 again that people will try to tow each other around.”

  • TOMORROW’S TIMES

    Don’t miss a lap tomorrow with our live blog keeping you right up to date with the FP3 and qualifying action.

    Set your alarms for 10am UK time for the final practice session at Monza.

    Qualifying then gets underway at 2pm.

    Sky Sports F1 is showing the Grand Prix live with highlights on Channel 4, at 6.30pm.

  • C'MON THEN

    The F1 circus is in town for the Italian GP this weekend.

    Take a trip around Monza with our virtual on-board footage.

  • TRAFFIC JAM

    Lewis Hamilton fears drivers backing up will wreck tomorrow’s qualifying.

    With clean air lending such an advantage on the huge start-finish straight at Monza, drivers have been waiting ahead of Parabolica for the perfect launch.

    And Hamilton fears such a traffic jam could have huge implications.

    He said this afternoon: “It was difficult in the past, and obviously we didn't even get to do the last lap last year.

    “It's going to be interesting – I heard they might put in a minimum time that we have to do an out lap, maybe that will help.

    “But I think it's going to be a nightmare on the last corner still, with everyone trying to get a gap. It's definitely going to be hard work.”

  • RED FACED

    Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has claimed Red Bull have “missed a trick” by not developing their own engine for F1.

    Max Verstappen’s team have struggled to match Mercedes for pure pace in the hybrid era, leading to the collapse of their partnership with Renault.

    Abiteboul stated: “I think Red Bull is a fantastic team but in my opinion Red Bull has missed a trick of modern Formula 1, where you can't have a chassis organisation and an engine organisation that are so distinct.

    “You can't think of that, if you want to fight for wins in a consistent manner.

    “So probably the struggles that it can face at the start of the season, but eventually even across all of the season, is a demonstration of that: you really need to be one group of people, one team, with one mindset.”

    He added: “We have failed to do that all together. It just looks like they [Red Bull] are not able to do much better with Honda.”

  • MER TO COME

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted to being “surprised” by Mercedes' advantage today – but insists the championship leaders are not satisfied.

    Comfortable 1-2 leads were secured in both Friday practice sessions, with the Finn leading in the morning before Lewis Hamilton claimed FP2.

    Bottas said: “It felt pretty good all through the day.

    “I’m sure we can still improve it.

    “I would say the biggest issue for me was a bit of a lack of stability in a few corners on the rear end, but other than that, pretty good.

    “I think the performance and the lap times compared to others, it’s slightly surprising at this point. Of course we’ll see tomorrow.”

  • VETT-ER DO BETTER

    Sebastian Vettel does need a turnaround this season…

    But this was not the one he was hoping for!

  • BREAKING

    Two members of team staff and track personnel have been diagnosed with Covid-19. They remain unnamed at this moment in time.

  • TRUE CAL-LING

    After the fun of F1 free practice, motorsport's up-and-coming stars have just finished their F2 qualifying run.

    Callum Ilott takes pole position for the second year in a row at Monza.

    The Ferrari Academy youngster leads Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda on the front row, with Luca Ghiotto and Christian Lundgaard in third and fourth.

    There was a dramatic finale too, with the red flag pulled out when Mick Schumacher binned his Prema in the barriers!

  • FP2 CLASSIFICATION

  • LEW BEAUTY

    Lewis Hamilton set the early pace for the Italian GP after topping the second practice session.

    The Brit was was second in the morning session but was quicker than his Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, in FP2.

    Fellow Brit Lando Norris was third in a surprise as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had to settle for fifth.

    But there was more woe for Ferrari, who risk yet another shocker in their home race.

    Sebastian Vettel was down in 19th place in FP1 while he recovered to 12th in the second session.

    And Charles Leclerc was 11th FP1 and ninth in FP2 but both drivers were critical of their cars’ performances.

    Vettel spun off while Leclerc also struggled to stay on track and snapped over the radio that his car was “so hard to drive”.

  • FP2 IS DONE

    Hamilton leads Bottas but there is a shock in P3, as McLaren's Lando Norris is in third place after recovering from his power problems.

    Pierre Galsy is fourth-quickest ahead of Verstappen in fifth and Carlos Sainz in sixth.

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