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Championship leader Sebastian Vettel fastest in 3rd practice session ahead of qualifying

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in the third practice of the Italian Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

The Red Bull driver had been quickest in Friday's second practice run and this time clocked a time of 1 minute, 24.360 seconds to finish .283 quicker than Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso and .317 clear of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber. Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest for Mercedes.

Alonso needs a strong qualifying session in order to pressure Vettel from the outset in Sunday's race.

Alonso has not qualified higher than third all season but will likely need to get on the front row on a Monza track regarded as the quickest in Formula One, and where five of the past six winners have started from pole position.