Felipe Massa fastest in rain affected final practice ahead of Italian grand prix

Williams driver Felipe Massa posted the fastest time of a rain-hit final practice session for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Heavy rain here at Monza led to the delay of the one-hour running with fans dressed in ponchos and taking cover from the inclement conditions by huddling under umbrellas.

But as the downpour began to ease off a number of cars took to the high-speed, albeit thoroughly damp circuit, with a little under 20 minutes remaining.

Only seven drivers, however, posted competitive times, with Massa leading the way from his Williams team-mate Lance Stroll, and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who is bidding to become the first Ferrari driver to win in front of the Tifosi since Fernando Alonso's triumph back in 2010, did not post a lap in the treacherous conditions.

Nor did his rival Lewis Hamilton, who trails the German by seven points ahead of Sunday's race.

Hamilton, who won in Belgium last weekend, is looking to seal his fourth consecutive pole position at Monza.

Such an accomplishment would see him stand alone as the sport's all-time record pole-setter after matching Michael Schumacher's tally of 68 in Spa-Francorchamps.

But the persistent rain could lead to an unpredictable qualifying session later on Saturday.

AP


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