A different kind of issue meant Yuki Tsunoda had a brief worry about a loose seatbelt briefly but the Japanese driver continued on, apparently having fixed the issue. He was left unimpressed with Nikita Mazepin on his subsequent hot lap. After getting slightly blocked into the Lesmo One, he let the Haas driver know on the way into the second Lesmo, slowing to remonstrate with the popular Russian.
Lewis Hamilton was the early pace-setter. He set a 1min 22.262sec on medium tyres to take the top spot by over two-tenths of a second over Sergio Perez. That time was eventually beaten by the Mexican after 24 minutes but only after Red Bull had fitted a new set of medium tyres.
Max Verstappen reported he was struggling with balance in the lower-speed sections of the track. His effort on fresh mediums was still 0.4sec down on Perez’s 1min 22.127sec.
Ferrari had been mired well down the order after the first few runs. Leclerc improved to go second-fastest on his medium tyre run but the Monégasque lost his time due to exceeding track limits at the newly-christened Curva Alboreto.
With 24 minutes remaining, Daniel Ricciardo put McLaren top of the times, almost six-tenths clear of team-mate Lando Norris’s P8 lap time. A 1min 22.003sec was a fraction quicker than Pierre Gasly posted in his AlphaTauri, separated by just 0.025sec.