Defending world champion and current runaway leader Sebastian Vettel topped the times again for Red Bull in Saturday’s final practice session ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
The 24-year-old German delivered the fastest lap of the morning and the weekend in the final seconds of a session run in warm late-summer sunshine, his time beating the best effort of Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber by three-tenths of a second.
Webber finished second fastest ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa in the leading Ferrari and Briton Lewis Hamilton who was fourth for McLaren. His team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button wound up fifth after a session spent battling with set-up problems.
The late flurry of action pushed German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, fastest for a long period, down to sixth ahead of his team-mate and compatriot seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, the 42-year-old veteran proving again that he is on the pace back at a circuit where he won five times for Ferrari.
Two times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso was eighth in the second Ferrari ahead of German Adrian Sutil and his Force India team-mate Briton Paul di Resta.
Brazilian Bruno Senna, making his second appearance for Renault after replacing German Nick Heidfeld in Belgium two weeks ago, was 11th ahead of his team-mate Russian Vitaly Petrov.
Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo ended his session in the Hispania garage with his car stripped down for serious mechanical surgery after various problems left him down in 24th and last place.
Italian Formula One Grand Prix third free practice times on Saturday:
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1:23.170
2. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:23.534
3. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1:23.668
4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren 1:23.741
5. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 1:23.787
6. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP 1:23.875
7. Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP 1:24.114
8. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1:24.133
9. Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India 1:24.543
10. Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India 1:24.581
11. Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus-Renault 1:24.853
12. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus-Renault 1:24.889
13. Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber 1:24.948
14. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber 1:25.261
15. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams F1 1:25.319
16. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Toro Rosso 1:25.426
17. Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Toro Rosso 1:25.439
18. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 1:25.539
19. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus 1:27.328
20. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus 1:27.491
21. Jerome d’Ambrosio (BEL) Virgin Racing 1:28.186
22. Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Hispania 1:28.441
23. Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing 1:28.962
24. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Hispania 1:30.316