Massa quickest in rain-delayed final practice
2 September 2017 – Felipe Massa led a Williams 1-2 in a rain-delayed final practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, with only a quarter of the planned track time going ahead, and just seven drivers posting a lap time.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms arrived in the Monza area on Friday evening, with further rain falling through Saturday morning, leaving the circuit soaked.
As a result of standing water and rivers, the preceding GP3 qualifying session was cancelled, with Safety Car driver Bernd Mayländer carrying out several track evaluations.
Shortly before the scheduled start of final practice, at 11:00 local time, Race Control communicated an "indefinite" delay, with the clock ticking.
Race Director Charlie Whiting commented at 11:25 that the "risk of aquaplaning on the pit straight is high", with the track "still too wet", before the rain eased slightly.
Some five minutes later, Mayländer completed another recce of the track, after which it was determined that FP3 would finally get underway at 11:44.
All drivers went out for at least one installation lap, using Pirelli's blue-marked Wet tyre, but only seven stayed out to get lap times on the board.
Amid extreme spray, Massa posted the quickest effort, clocking a 1:40.660, to finish two-tenths clear of rookie team-mate Lance Stroll.
Renault's Nico Hülkenberg and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr. got within a second of Massa's time, having also completed a handful of laps.
Jolyon Palmer (Renault), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) were the other drivers to set times in the tricky conditions.
Whiting noted during his mid-session interview that "if the rain carries on, we would schedule qualifying for tomorrow morning, but I really don't think it will come to that".
Saturday's qualifying session at Monza is set to begin at 14:00 local time