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Lewis Hamilton maintained his place at the top of the timesheets ahead of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, nabbing the top spot in the closing stages at a drying Monza.

With overnight rain making conditions mixed at the start of the hour-long session, only a foolhardy handful would test the limits of the slippery circuit in the opening half with the rest waiting until the final minutes to set their personal bests.

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With the odd damp patch preventing the drivers from matching lap times from FP2, Hamilton was still fastest for Mercedes with a 1min 24.544s - three tenths slower than the weekend benchmark -, his final effort putting him two tenths clear of Sebastian Vettel.

With a dry qualifying session predicted this afternoon, Vettel was just quick enough in the dicey conditions to edge out Nico Rosberg - who appeared to be blighted by some technical gremlins at one stage -, while Williams performed its trademark FP3 step up with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa completing the top five.

Another strong session for the Mercedes-powered contingent, Lotus' Pastor Maldonado was sixth fastest, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari and Sergio Perez, the Force India drivers looking less assured in FP3 having been top five on Friday.

Behind them, Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a fillip ahead of qualifying to haul himself and Sauber into the top ten in ninth position, ahead of Romain Grosjean, Felipe Nasr and Nico Hulkenberg, with the midfield proving typically close once again.

Having been struck by problems in FP1 and FP2, Red Bull suffered more reliability frustration as Daniel Ricciardo stopped out on track. The Australian was running a new Renault in preparation for the race, but the problems - which occurred after just 7 laps - is reported to already be terminal.

With Max Verstappen also set to take an engine penalty, all four Renault powered cars - plus the two McLaren-Hondas - will now have their grid position determined post-qualifying.