Valtteri Bottas led ahead of the two McLarens in an unpredictable final practice session at Monza, which produced a qualifying simulation thanks to a late red flag.
As the drivers ran their flying laps at the end of the session, Daniel Ricciardo pulled up at the Lesmos which brought out a red flag after only a few drivers had completed their laps.
At that stage the Australian was third, with Lando Norris in a second-place and Lewis Hamilton a lowly fourth.
The red flag was lifted with a few laps to go which led to a flurry of activity, all the cars heading out to try and improve their times and in doing so providing a look into how qualifying may play out later.
And Carlos Sainz was the big winner, jumping from 16th to second with his final run and pushing Norris down to third, the Brit just seventh thousandths ahead of Ricciardo. Hamilton round out the top five.
It’s certainly an interesting look at where the teams rank as Mercedes didn’t look their usual dominant selves, and third to fifth separated by just a few hundredths of a second.
Renault have a big job making sure Ricciardo’s car is ready to go for qualifying in a couple of hours time as his power unit – new for this weekend – conked out and left him stranded at the Lesmos.
The two Red Bulls were at six and seven, Verstappen leading Albon by a tenth in a session where the Thai driver struggled round parabolica and had several lap times deleted.
Esteban Ocon was eighth ahead of the two Racing Points, and Charles Leclerc eleventh.
The Monegasque driver was on the radio several times questioning the minimum charge-lap rules, and while on one rant ended up hampering a Norris lap.
The AlphaTauris had a more difficult session after flying high yesterday, and placed twelfth and thirteenth.
-“You’re the only car on track”
-“Ok… but say I’m P1”
-“You’re P1… purple in all sectors”Carlos Sainz’s race engineer talking to the McLaren driver, as he was the first car to head out and set a 1:21.502