Sebastian Vettel led a Red Bull 1-2 following third practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The 24-year-old German elbowed teammate Mark Webber off the top of the standings in the final minutes as teams prepared their cars for qualifying.
Webber, however, came over three-tenths shy of his teammate as the team tried new front wings in the sixty minute running.
The Australian has at times this year struggled for answers against Vettel in qualifying and if this session is anything to go by, he may be looking at the rear of his teammate’s machine once again.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa assumed 3rd just ahead of the McLaren pairing of Lewis Hamilton (4th) and Jenson Button (5th). This was not the brightest of sessions for Button, who admitted struggles with car balance throughout practice.
Mercedes were next on the sheets with Nico Rosberg pipping Michael Schumacher to 6th. Rosberg led for much the session before being usurped by the Red Bull’s (et al); however his silver and turquoise machine still lost over seven-tenths over the course of a lap.
Schumacher (7th) had a more difficult Saturday morning than anticipated. A spin at the opening chicane curtailed one of his runs, but even in clear running, the veteran fell nearly three-tenths shy of Rosberg.
Williams’ poor weekend continued with a KERS failure for Pastor Maldonado (18th), while behind him front wing damage to Jarno Trulli’s Lotus (19th) stopped him from getting to within 1.5 seconds of the Venezuelan.
It was not the best of sessions for Trulli, who raised a smile to camera’s thanks to a newly signed contract with Lotus for 2012.
There were few smiles at either HRT F1 or Virgin – Daniel Ricciardo lost most of the session through multiple mechanical issues, while Timo Glock ran with a malfunctioning DRS.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m23.170s 18 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m23.534s + 0.364 19 3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m23.668s + 0.498 14 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.741s + 0.571 17 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.787s + 0.617 16 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.875s + 0.705 22 7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m24.114s + 0.944 20 8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.133s + 0.963 14 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m24.543s + 1.373 21 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.581s + 1.411 22 11. Bruno Senna Renault 1m24.853s + 1.683 20 12. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m24.889s + 1.719 19 13. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.948s + 1.778 22 14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.261s + 2.091 21 15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m24.319s + 2.149 19 16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.426s + 2.256 19 17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.439s + 2.269 22 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m25.539s + 2.369 19 19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m27.328s + 4.158 19 20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m27.491s + 4.321 21 21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m28.186s + 5.016 23 22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m28.441s + 5.271 22 23. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m28.962s + 5.792 17 24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m30.316s + 7.146 16