On a washed-out Saturday morning in Monza, FP3 became little more than an exploratory test bed for the cars ahead of qualifying. With torrential rain delaying the start of the session until 15 mins before its scheduled end, the teams and drivers could do little more than watch and wait for the water levels on-track to subside, in the hope of at least getting one lap out on track to get a handle on the conditions.
In a session where rain threatened for most of the morning – and eventually appeared at the end – both drivers completed their FP1 programmes with no major problems. The team used the session to execute its scheduled handling and set-up changes, and both cars ran a number of tests in preparation for the weekend ahead. Fernando also did his first run of the day in his MCL32 complete with halo fitted to the cockpit.
Built in 1922, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza epitomises the history and drama of the Formula 1 World Championship. Only once, in 1980, has the circuit not been included on the F1 calendar and the 5.793km/3.600-mile lap remains the fastest of them all, with an average speed approaching 259km/h/160mph. The old banking – last used in 1961 – is still clearly visible, as are many of the old grandstands. Aptly, the track is called ‘La Pista Magica’ by the fanatical Italian racing fans