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Vettel tops final practice for Italian GP ahead of Hamilton

MONZA, Italy — Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in third and final practice for the Italian Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

The Ferrari driver was 0.081 seconds quicker than Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton and 0.173 ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel trimmed Hamilton’s overall lead to 17 points with victory at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, and now has his sights focused on ending Ferrari’s eight-year wait for a win at Monza.

Ferrari has looked strong so far on its home track and had a one-two in second practice on Friday, with Vettel again quicker than Raikkonen after a rain-affected first session.

More rain fell on Saturday morning but the track had dried out by the time the drivers took to it in their cars.

Ferrari last won its home grand prix in 2010, with Fernando Alonso driving.

Vettel became F1’s then-youngest race winner when he triumphed in Monza in 2008 with Toro Rosso. He also won the Italian GP in his 2011 and 2013 title years with Red Bull.

Hamilton has won four of the past six races in Monza and has also qualified in pole position for each of the past four editions.

The Mercedes driver would tie Michael Schumacher’s record of five Italian GP victories with another victory on Sunday.

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